The Future Of Gaming

March 17, 2010

Here’s the video for an interesting speech by Jesse Schell entitled “Design Outside The Box.”

Topics of the speech include:

  • the psychology of games – making them sticky
  • the consumer desire for realism and authenticity as a recent trend
  • technological convergence/divergence of devices, the iPhone, the iPad, and the “pocket exception”
  • the possibility of game achievements improving behavior
  • the fact that there are more FarmVille players on FaceBook than there are Twitter accounts

Achievements are already leaking over to non-games, some items that could have been mentioned:
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The Problem Of Electronic Page Numbers

January 31, 2010

A nice aside in Steven Johnson’s recent review of the new Kindle:

6. No page numbers! They have “location” numbers instead, because pages don’t really exist in the Kindle, given that you can resize the type with two quick taps on the keyboard. There’s a small question here about how you cite a passage from a Kindle e-book, but I think it begs a larger, and more interesting question about standardizing page references in all e-books — including Google Books for instance. (I’m going to write a longer piece on this…)

This isn’t really a new problem – anyone who has used a text from Project Gutenberg has run into this issue (try citing a passage from Heart of Darkness, for example). However, the difficulty may become more prevalent as devices such as the Kindle become more common. Of course, electronic books also present difficulties when it comes to marginalia (the most notable marginalia is probably that of Fermat).

There are some general difficulties here with electronic text and it will be interesting to see how they can be solved in effective, portable ways.

Datamining Everquest

March 28, 2009

A group of academic researchers have obtained the complete server logs for the Everquest 2 MMORPG. It’s four years of data for over 400,000 players – the resulting dataset is nearly 60TB. That’s right, terabytes. Combined with some demographic surveys there is interesting datamining potential here.

This is also interesting because apparently the standard tools don’t quite scale to the task of analyzing this data:

Regardless of format, many one-pass, exhaustive algorithms simply choke on a dataset this large, which is forcing his group to use some incremental analysis methods or to work with subsets of the data.

Some items in the results that I found interesting:

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