MMOs are a big deal. According to MMOData, there are roughly 20 million players globally. The MMO genre is unique due to its deep social hooks, its never-ending story and its often addictive nature. The addictiveness of MMOs have given the genre (and its players) a bad rap. Many consider MMOs a colosal waste of time. However, I see opportunity… Continue reading Bridging the Gap—Making Games Conduits to Real Accomplishment
Using games to educate is as old as humanity. As video games continue to take over media (the gaming industry has been out-earning Hollywood for years) people such as Jane McGonigal consider it imperative to use gaming as an educational and problem-solving platform. A recently well-executed example of this is Spent which was created in partnership by McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham. The game challenges you to live on $1000 a month on the premise that you have no savings. The game’s metrics and “rules” are based on empirical data from U.S. low-income living. Playing the game makes it clearly evident that the notion of pulling yourself up from your bootstraps is often times more rhetoric than reality. Continue reading Play a Game Where Making Ends Meet is a Victory
The whole Second Life phenomenon has been quite interesting to watch evolve. For those of you still somewhat ignorant to the game, it centers around the premise that its world is completely flexible – with users able to create new content and interaction for the Second Life world. Hell, it even has its own monetary system, the Linden. What is so compelling about the concept of a completely free world is when people try to take the world in a completely different direction. Recently, long time gamers decided to nuke two corporate-owned stores (American Apparel and Reebok).
The person responsible for destroying these two stores is not too happy about the direction the game’s world is moving and came to the conclusion that blowing some things up was a good solution. This same person apparently wants the creators of Second Life to give his army (yes, he had an army) the ability to vote on future changes. Through this little experiment, “citizens” have begun to rebel and ask for more democratic power. I find this all extremely interesting. I am quite curious how these same people will react if they do not get what they want. It could soon be a very unhappy (not to mention radioactive) world in Second Life…
I am not a gamer myself, I myself look forward to seeing how this pans out. This has to be the first case where violent actions in a game’s world impacts they way that world works.