|June 20th, 2008|
The UpTake Blog has a great summary of the panel I was on. They missed my opening remarks, which were largely inconsequential: a brief overview of fields outside of games that are relevant to virtual world design, which can be summarized as “all of them.”
Elliot Ng’s summary reads:
- Raph shared about “emergent” play, like endgame raids in World of Warcraft and Everquest (aka Evercrack) not originally envisioned by the game developers but created by the players.
- Raph: “Humans enjoy transgressive play” and will always try to break free from the game constraints.
- Doug’s thesis oversimplified is as follows: Gamers will be more successful in the future workplace than non-gamers, because of five key characteristics of the gamer’s disposition: (1) Gamers have a bottom-line mentality, (2) Gamers understand the value of diversity, (3) Gamers thrive on change, (4) Gamers see learning as fun, (5) Gamers tend to marinate on the edge.
- Dave said that “it freaks him out” that the Web communities he build have the same, fundamental game mechanics as online games like World of Warcraft. Are we destined to create games that follow that pattern and will we live in a flattened world because of it?
- Dave invoked the eerie story of Japanese schoolchildren obsessing over “shiny balls of mud” called dorodango and creating an external evaluative process to allocate status and distinction based on expertise gained through repetitive practice creating these balls of mud. Is this simply the human condition? Do game and Web designers accentuate these hard-wired tendencies? Or do we have freedom to choose the future we want?
- Doug: “what i’m concerned is that kids are being trained to be consumers. In Hello Kitty, Barbie Girls, and Club Penguin, citizenship is being a good consumer.”
I was struck by the fact that so much of the discussion, particularly on Dave’s side, echoed concerns from my Project Horseshoe talk “Influences.” There was much discussion of the social impact of “the grind” as large-scale cultural phenomenon: is it good to indoctrinate kids into a “gamist” mentality?
Image (CC) Elliott Ng, UpTake Travel Search.