Posts Tagged ‘games’

HOLY CRAP

December 22, 2012

Haven’t gotten a chance to post a descent post in a while. I did feel compeled to say that the reasom I’m up at this hour is because I had to watch the “Double Fine Adventure” Kickstarter campaign get to the finish line, tripling itself since I posted about Kickstarter on this blog.

As I mentioned in the title: HOLY CRAP!

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/double-fine-adventure

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/19261571366 at March 14, 2012 at 02:04AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Advertisements

Social gaming – “it’s our responsibility… to demand more honest and fulfilling fun from our entertainment.”

December 22, 2012

Social gaming – “it’s our responsibility… to demand more honest and fulfilling fun from our entertainment.” :

I love (and sort of hate, I guess) finding articles that say exactly the things I think about.

I’ve always found psychology to be a very interesting and practical field of work. Though it may be hard to quantify and measure behaviors in humans, it is not impossible – that is why psychological research is helping people to an ever growing extent in modern times – be it through proper medication for mental conditions, behavioral therapy or simply tips regarding cognitive functions that are making many people’s live’s better every day.

All the application of psychology I listed above contribute to people’s well being, and while not all methods are as precise or effective, they are helping people change their behavior according to their will. For example – helping a person with “ticks” overcome his obsessive behavior. But as they say, “with great power, comes great responsibility”. 

Even when ignoring problematic experiments and psychological torture, there are still many ways to misuse even the best theraputic practices. If we put asside drug abuse, the main concern that comes to mind, and rightly so, is behavioral modification. The same methods that can help overcome bad habits and teach us to act in more positive ways can be used, if applied correctly, to coerce us into an activity, which we might rationalize as entertaining but wouldn’t have neccesairily engaged in williningly having seen it’s outcome. This article raises a flag on one example – the social gaming industry – whose buisness model relies heavily on influencing players to dedicate time, and eventually, money, with their games.

Even if we put aside the debate regarding the merits of playing a game (described in the article as “‘easy’ vs. ‘hard’ fun”), the major concern, in my idea, is the weak but effective coersion techniques used to getting players involved in the games. If that seems to harsh of a judgement, read this. People payed to click cows… COWS… and now that they’re gone, there are still people playing… So what if their moo sounds are cute!

Despite the above rant, the point I’m trying to make has nothing to do with the games – while I despise them and find them problematic, my main issue is with the idea that this is a working, effective buisness, based on “clicking nothing” games. I can’t imagine working and supporting such an endavor – coming to work to develop games that lure people into a psychological experiment, for which they have to pay (THAT would actually be illegal in modern standards). It’s not about good or bad, but rather about the human hours wasted by both users and company on “clicking nothing”. I feel the way Luis Von Ahn fealt about the captchas.

I try to fill this blog with ideas that make our lives more fulfilling – doing something because it contributes to something else – not just for that something’s sake. I do it because I think that be it through crowdsourced efforts or individual developments, we are building, block by block, a better tommorow through todays technologies, when we try to look at them practicly rather than as a buisness or something cool. I want to eventually pitch and develop an idea that will take part in this trend.

Zynga is the exact opposite of this vision – it bases its success solely on the effectivness of its buisness model, which isn’t a great feat considering how virality and reinforcement are easy to achieve these days. The fact that the internet is so widely based on these economically oriented buisness models (AKA heavy advertising, paid subscription, etc’) is both outdated an a missed opportunity in my opinion – why waste people’s time? There are many examples of successful projects that garnered interest because of their value, not their buisness potential. I wish with all my heart more buisnesses would look into generating a valuble service or by-product as a way to get funded, rather than the methods listed above. 

Returning to social games, and more specifically, the gamers – it’s time to set up higher standards for what we do in our spare time, even in games. Look at the many options today – games that are smartly designed, thought games, games with a social message, or full fledged GWAPs (games with a purpose) – we have enough variety to chose critically on what to invest our time in. In the end, any time we spend on any activity should be valuable to us, and is in fact valuable for the companies (time is easily to capitalise. Therefore, I believe a true shift in gamers interest could, if direct enough, force a shift in buisness strategies as well. The question remains – how to engage a large enough crowd?

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/16429768891 at January 25, 2012 at 01:09AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

HOLY CRAP

March 14, 2012

Haven’t gotten a chance to post a descent post in a while. I did feel compeled to say that the reasom I’m up at this hour is because I had to watch the “Double Fine Adventure” Kickstarter campaign get to the finish line, tripling itself since I posted about Kickstarter on this blog.

As I mentioned in the title: HOLY CRAP!

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/double-fine-adventure

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/19261571366 at March 14, 2012 at 02:04AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Social gaming – “it’s our responsibility… to demand more honest and fulfilling fun from our entertainment.”

January 25, 2012

Social gaming – “it’s our responsibility… to demand more honest and fulfilling fun from our entertainment.” :

I love (and sort of hate, I guess) finding articles that say exactly the things I think about.

I’ve always found psychology to be a very interesting and practical field of work. Though it may be hard to quantify and measure behaviors in humans, it is not impossible – that is why psychological research is helping people to an ever growing extent in modern times – be it through proper medication for mental conditions, behavioral therapy or simply tips regarding cognitive functions that are making many people’s live’s better every day.

All the application of psychology I listed above contribute to people’s well being, and while not all methods are as precise or effective, they are helping people change their behavior according to their will. For example – helping a person with “ticks” overcome his obsessive behavior. But as they say, “with great power, comes great responsibility”.

Even when ignoring problematic experiments and psychological torture, there are still many ways to misuse even the best theraputic practices. If we put asside drug abuse, the main concern that comes to mind, and rightly so, is behavioral modification. The same methods that can help overcome bad habits and teach us to act in more positive ways can be used, if applied correctly, to coerce us into an activity, which we might rationalize as entertaining but wouldn’t have neccesairily engaged in williningly having seen it’s outcome. This article raises a flag on one example – the social gaming industry – whose buisness model relies heavily on influencing players to dedicate time, and eventually, money, with their games.

Even if we put aside the debate regarding the merits of playing a game (described in the article as “‘easy’ vs. ‘hard’ fun”), the major concern, in my idea, is the weak but effective coersion techniques used to getting players involved in the games. If that seems to harsh of a judgement, read this. People payed to click cows… COWS… and now that they’re gone, there are still people playing… So what if their moo sounds are cute!

Despite the above rant, the point I’m trying to make has nothing to do with the games – while I despise them and find them problematic, my main issue is with the idea that this is a working, effective buisness, based on “clicking nothing” games. I can’t imagine working and supporting such an endavor – coming to work to develop games that lure people into a psychological experiment, for which they have to pay (THAT would actually be illegal in modern standards). It’s not about good or bad, but rather about the human hours wasted by both users and company on “clicking nothing”. I feel the way Luis Von Ahn fealt about the captchas.

I try to fill this blog with ideas that make our lives more fulfilling – doing something because it contributes to something else – not just for that something’s sake. I do it because I think that be it through crowdsourced efforts or individual developments, we are building, block by block, a better tommorow through todays technologies, when we try to look at them practicly rather than as a buisness or something cool. I want to eventually pitch and develop an idea that will take part in this trend.

Zynga is the exact opposite of this vision – it bases its success solely on the effectivness of its buisness model, which isn’t a great feat considering how virality and reinforcement are easy to achieve these days. The fact that the internet is so widely based on these economically oriented buisness models (AKA heavy advertising, paid subscription, etc’) is both outdated an a missed opportunity in my opinion – why waste people’s time? There are many examples of successful projects that garnered interest because of their value, not their buisness potential. I wish with all my heart more buisnesses would look into generating a valuble service or by-product as a way to get funded, rather than the methods listed above.

Returning to social games, and more specifically, the gamers – it’s time to set up higher standards for what we do in our spare time, even in games. Look at the many options today – games that are smartly designed, thought games, games with a social message, or full fledged GWAPs (games with a purpose) – we have enough variety to chose critically on what to invest our time in. In the end, any time we spend on any activity should be valuable to us, and is in fact valuable for the companies (time is easily to capitalise. Therefore, I believe a true shift in gamers interest could, if direct enough, force a shift in buisness strategies as well. The question remains – how to engage a large enough crowd?

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/16429768891 at January 25, 2012 at 01:09AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Using the Internet for Psychology Studies

January 5, 2012

Using the Internet for Psychology Studies:

This article is great for two reasons: first, it links nicely to my previous post on the value of writing; secondly, the method used to study the research question in the psychology study was interesting – it used kids’ interactions on the internet, to learn something about their psychological well-being.

The only thing that seems strange to me is this – once the researchers figured out they wanted to study the interactions of students over the internet, why did they suffice with picking a few students from nearby schools, rather than try to pick them up from the internet itself.

Obviously there are many challenges to overcome in order to conduct a valid psychology study (having taken an introductory course in psychology in Israel’s Open University out of general interest in the field, I only began to grasp the complexity of these studies). Psychologists need to monitor so many variables in their studies, it’s probably understandable their natural instinct would be to keep the study up close and personal.

But what I still don’t see in the field of psychology, unlike many other fields, is serious considerations of the merits a web platform for psychology research. The article itself provides several reasons to at least consider it – the use of blogs and commenting, which could be easier to monitor if conducted in a controlled web environment, and the ability to reach a wider testing audience (which, as the researchers profess, was gender biassed in their study).

It’s true that using the web comes with many risks, including spamming, flaming, and trolling in comments to name just a few, but I think a good and controlled environment, with the proper incentive to participate (while still complying with requirements to avoid harming the test participants) could be amazing. Imagine a computer game designed with sensory tests that could gather data from around the world? Or how about testing cooperation under very controlled circumstances? I’ve actually read an article about Spanish researchers testing the prisoners dilema in a computer hall with 1000 students – but why not set up the same experiment with 100,000? The technology is there – all that’s missing are willing designers to plan the research!

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/15312980516 at January 05, 2012 at 12:52AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com


%d bloggers like this: