Design Outside the Box, aka Games in real life

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Design Outside the Box, aka Games in real life

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun magazine comes up today with a video from a presentation this year at the DICE Summit.

    Jesse Schell, takes you on a joy ride from today's games, gadgets, points, achievements and whatelse into a sort of blissful dystopian world where games will be a part of your everyday life. He argues it's inevitable... and I cannot seem to argue back. Well worth watching the whole 28 minutes of it. He's funny, but you won't be laughing at the end.

    While there's no way to tell if that is where we are heading into, what worries me most about this prediction is that it is not about the end of the world. It's not about something too scary that we can easily dismiss following the simple argument of mankind natural tendency for self-preservation. Instead it's about money. Lots and lots of money. And its about greed. Consumer greed. All things that have been driving us through the economy road.

    If you are into games, or if you are not, do take a look at it. It's a very interesting presentation, even though it embraces futurology.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #2
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Interesting indeed.
    The thing I don't like about these games is that they take away something that is inreplacable. Time.
    You spent money with your credit card and you get points. The points give you a gift. If you really wanted the gift chances are that you already have bought it with your credit card. So probably you are getting something you don't need. The problem is that you will spent a couple of hourse to decide what. You will call and find out. You will ask your friends what should you buy. All this attention and time spent in an already busy everyday life.
    So where would you find time from? Thinking other important things. Like politics. People forget that a democracy requires its citizen to have a critical thinking and optain knowledge in order to decide. Philosophy, if anybody cares anymore. Watching a movie, reading a book, seeing a play, even playing a real game that can actually expand your horizons and maybe even change your way of thinking. Spent some time with your children you are suppose to educate. Even socialize with your friends you have months to see.

    Technology was suppose to make our life easier so we can spent more time on the things that were good for us. Not to create new needs that require more time and achieving the opposite.

    Going out and playing football can achieve multiple things. You socialize, you entertain yourself, you exercise. You spent two hours and you are satisfied for the day.
    Compare that to playing a video game. Two hours and you are entertain. But not necessarily satisfied. You didn't exercise nor sosialized. So you need another two hours to go out with your friends. Another two hours to go to the gym. Its simply less efficient

  3. #3
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    Technology was suppose to make our life easier so we can spent more time on the things that were good for us. Not to create new needs that require more time and achieving the opposite.
    No, that is one (probably the principle) application of technology, but some technology is also a lot like art-craft or whimsy, and to some people it is interesting in and of itself (which can be good, because it applies the mind). Technology also creates new "needs" that more technology has to answer, raising the question: "what was it that you meant to do with that time you saved?"

    Going out and playing football can achieve multiple things. You socialize, you entertain yourself, you exercise. You spent two hours and you are satisfied for the day.
    Compare that to playing a video game. Two hours and you are entertain. But not necessarily satisfied. You didn't exercise nor sosialized. So you need another two hours to go out with your friends. Another two hours to go to the gym. Its simply less efficient
    I don't play games (because I find them boring), and I do go to the gym, but I totally disagree with this. I think these activities can all have a place. You can play football for two hours, then go home and play video games for two hours if you want. You could play football for four hours instead, but I would argue you are probably just being half as intense as you would have been if you only played for two, etc., so hanging around on the field all day is no better than sitting in your room playing video games all day. Honestly.

    You could play video games for four hours. I do think not getting a healthy amount of exercise is stupid, and if you need to cut your gaming down to three hours to stay healthy, then you should, but that does not make playing video games bad (even if I think it's boring).
    Last edited by MK27; 02-26-2010 at 06:08 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Registered User UltraKing227's Avatar
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    i disagree. Videogames are something made to kill time, not to take time.
    If someone predicts our future to be bad with Video games, s\he intends
    that 'The Future i Predicted will only happen IF the VideoGames are used
    to Take Real-Life time'.

    WoW (World of Warcraft) is evil and mean, because it kills precious time.
    Simple Games, on the other hand, are good only for killing time you Dont
    need.

  5. #5
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I don't think none of that is the aim of the presentation, although it could border some of these effects. Instead, the application of games and game concepts in real-life for marketing purposes.

    Achievements, points, even "experience points", as a means to hook consumers to a certain brand, being handed out while performing mundane tasks or playing built-in games. Possibly even while playing normal games. He carries on to widen the whole concept to about anything you do in your everyday life.

    Somehow the Minority Report mall scene cropped into my mind. What I found curious is that scene really is a lot more difficult to reach than what this guy is talking about. Not just from a technical POV. But mostly because I could see a lot more resistance to ad direct targeting, than to games, achievements and points, being a part of your everyday life by generations born in the early 2000s and beyond.

    The speaker does get lost at some point. You could see his excitement and an overdose of futurology. But I couldn't avoid grabbing the silverlining instead.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #6
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I don't think none of that is the aim of the presentation, although it could border some of these effects. Instead, the application of games and game concepts in real-life for marketing purposes.
    So this is an insomnia cure, is what you are saying.

    But mostly because I could see a lot more resistance to ad direct targeting, than to games, achievements and points, being a part of your everyday life by generations born in the early 2000s and beyond.
    Why? In what form? Do you think such resistance is good (because you are against the technology) or bad (because business/the economy needs advertising)?

    Anyway, I think you are being facetious Mario. There will be no such resistance -- resistance is futile.
    Last edited by MK27; 02-26-2010 at 07:19 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Achievements, points, even "experience points", as a means to hook consumers to a certain brand, being handed out while performing mundane tasks or playing built-in games. Possibly even while playing normal games. He carries on to widen the whole concept to about anything you do in your everyday life.
    You're going to love this then:

    A coalition of insurance industry groups called "Get Health Reform Right," led by Blue Cross Blue Shield and including America's Health Insurance Plans, the American Benefits Council and others, has been caught tricking Facebook users into sending electronic letters opposing health care reform to their Congressional representatives by paying them with "virtual currency."

    Here is how it works: Facebook users often play habit-forming, online social games with names like "Friends For Sale," "FarmVille" and "MafiaWars." The games utilize virtual currency which allows players buy objects within the game and advance their progress in the game. Ads appear during the games offering Facebook users more virtual currency if they agree to take an online survey which, when filled out, automatically sends an anti-health care reform email message to their Congressional Representative.
    source:
    Insurers Trick Facebook Users Into Opposing Health Care Reform | Center for Media and Democracy

    It's gonna suck losing at your next online arena deathmatch because someone else bought more fabric softener than you did.
    Last edited by MK27; 02-26-2010 at 07:26 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  8. #8
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Well, that's the kind of resistance I'm talking about. Words like "caught" and "trick" and the general tone of disapproval of the article shows still both a legal and psychological resistance to these type of activities.

    Yet, as soon as you insert the idea of Reward, and all of a sudden the barrier becomes thinner. What I find distressing is that reward may not amount to anything, really. What are achievements, if nothing other than a big empty bag of nothing? What are points if they can't be traded for nothing? Yet, some (many) get excited at the idea of reaching the Early Riser Achievement by waking up early everyday for the past year, or show of their 1 million points earned while playing Coca Cola's Can Factory game to its envious Facebook friends. Like George Clooney excited about getting 1 million miles in Up In the Air, for a gold card with the number 7 and a small chat with an old plane captain.

    I don't pretend we should collectively fight this or not. I don't care about such... how do you say?... facetious statements. What I do observe however is that his dystopian world is a lot more in-check with reality already today and it can be a promise for the near future it will get even more. From what concerns myself, the only battle I endure is making sure my two daughters grow a mind of their own by among other things, surprisingly enough, not allowing them to use such things as Facebook and explaining Why.

    I think one could argue where's the devil in all this marketing approach, or on such places as Facebook? I myself have trouble answering it. I cannot really put my finger on it and that is exactly why I get spooked and want to have nothing to do with it. What I observe is the rise of virtual relationships supported by commercial companies. And this guy says it can go further, with games.

    ...

    As for Games and marketing. His hints on the next direction seem credible enough. They won't target me, really. They'll target these generations of teens, born into Facebook and what is being called Web 2.0. What Facebook and others have been doing is making sure our youngsters can't get a life outside the internet anymore. I make myself sound like my parents when I was a kid. But that's perhaps exactly what this is all about. My condition as a parent as changed my view of the world, as it did my parents who lived through the Rock & Roll revolution and will do my daughters who are living the Internet Miasma Revolution.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 02-26-2010 at 08:13 AM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  9. #9
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    What Facebook and others have been doing is making sure our youngsters can't get a life outside the internet anymore. I make myself sound like my parents when I was a kid. But that's perhaps exactly what this is all about. My condition as a parent as changed my view of the world, as it did my parents who lived through the Rock & Roll revolution and will do my daughters who are living the Internet Miasma Revolution.
    You let them play video games and watch TV tho right?

    This is what I meant by different things having different places. What would be wrong with spending an hour on facebook instead of an hour playing games or watching TV?

    From what I have seen of the kids I know here, "social networking" is not really a threat to their "social development" at all. It's just an aspect, like the pile of cell phones they all carry.

    That the advertising world has an insidious presence there kind of fits in with it's omnipresence generally. I think the best way to develop a decent BS detector is to expose yourself to lots of BS, honestly. Sheltering people from "addictive temptations" or "stupid beliefs" only masks the underlying impulse to engage in them. Eventually, your kids will find something to addict themselves to (or something stupid to believe in) without your knowledge. It's much better to allow people to indulge, experiment, and learn responsibility (etc) through their own will, in a positive environment, than to cut off any chance they have of learning to relate to things-in-the-world responsibly (by doing).
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  10. #10
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    That the advertising world has an insidious presence there kind of fits in with it's omnipresence generally. I think the best way to develop a decent BS detector is to expose yourself to lots of BS, honestly. Sheltering people from "addictive temptations" or "stupid beliefs" only masks the underlying impulse to engage in them. Eventually, your kids will find something to addict themselves to (or something stupid to believe in) without your knowledge. It's much better to allow people to indulge, experiment, and learn responsibility (etc) through their own will, in a positive environment, than to cut off any chance they have of learning to relate to things-in-the-world responsibly (by doing).
    Naturally, I'm not going to have a debate with you, of all people, on my choices concerning my daughters. Yet, you do raise an interesting point I'd like to address.

    I do not pretend that me stopping them from using Facebook, or many of the Web 2.0 "featureless" social networks, will stop them from using them. At this age, yes. But they will find their way there eventually. Without my consent and against my will.

    But that's precisely our task as parents and theirs as children. It's this tension between parents and their children that ensures their upbringing. Parents to make rules, children to break them. What our generation has been doing however is come up with the argument that because they will eventually find a way to break the rules, we should let go those rules. I cannot agree to this disavowing of a parent responsibility. There's nothing wrong in creating barriers only to see them destroyed. But I cannot see any good in not creating barriers at all.

    I do not fear for their ability at critical thought. In fact, by creating these barriers, I ensure their will develop that ability much better when it comes the time they expose themselves without my knowledge to what I don't want them to. Simply because I gave them all the bases to start with. By simply letting go, I'm putting that responsibility on them solely. Hardly something I feel is right to do... and perhaps why so many youngsters these days cannot tell when they are being BSed by corporate marketing, or have an hard time understanding the lack of purpose of many of their activities on the internet when there's a whole other world out there (in and outside the internet) to explore.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  11. #11
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Well, to be honest, my parents would not let me have a toy gun, and in retrospect maybe it was for the best.

    But generally I am of the opinion that enforcing rules dumbs people down and is very unlikely to make anyone smarter. Growing up to not do something simply because you have never done it and it is against the rules does not develop critical thinking, no matter how you try to cut it. Growing up learning how to get away with things behind the backs of authority may not either -- altho it engenders a lack of respect for arbitrary authority, which is good

    Sometimes rules are rational tho: like, people do not need the freedom to responsibly decide whether or not to stop at a red light. That one can remain a "no-brainer".
    Last edited by MK27; 02-26-2010 at 09:01 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    No, that is one (probably the principle) application of technology, but some technology is also a lot like art-craft or whimsy, and to some people it is interesting in and of itself (which can be good, because it applies the mind). Technology also creates new "needs" that more technology has to answer, raising the question: "what was it that you meant to do with that time you saved?"
    .....
    You could play video games for four hours. I do think not getting a healthy amount of exercise is stupid, and if you need to cut your gaming down to three hours to stay healthy, then you should, but that does not make playing video games bad (even if I think it's boring).
    Yeah, kind of simplified technology, but it seems to fail on that one main application. In a lot of ways today.

    I don't say playing videogames is bad. But since they are "not that great" because of their disadvantages increasing our gaming hours is not really a good idea.

    The bad thing about video games is that they are advertised/presented as a "great way to entertain yourself".

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I think the best way to develop a decent BS detector is to expose yourself to lots of BS, honestly.
    I agree on that. That is my method as well. Of course you should be careful not to over do it I have seen the addiction games create that is why I see some "evil" (as well as good) behind them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F.
    What I observe is the rise of virtual relationships supported by commercial companies.
    .
    Exactly.

  13. #13
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Okay question then: in what sense are traditional activities like socializing at a restaurant/club, shopping, going to the movies, coffeeshops, etc not also "virtual relationships supported by commercial companies"? Like, so going to the mall would be okay, but using facebook wrong?

    I'm not endorsing one thing over another here, but class is an interesting factor: it's easy to say "it'd be better and more natural [sic] to go out" when you can afford to pay the commercial companies that own and control the space.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    You can go out in a park or at a house for free. The point is that you see the other face to face rather than simulating that through facebook.

    If you want to play WoW that is fine. But stupid comercials like "why go out and play soccer when you can play Pro Evolution at the safety and comfort of your house" are evil. It is simply not the same and should not be advertise as such.

  15. #15
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    You can go out in a park or at a house for free. The point is that you see the other face to face rather than simulating that through facebook.
    Sure, but there are plenty of non-commercial realms in the internet (altho they have been marginalized, just like in real public space).

    WRT "face to face" vs. "a simulation" -- to be honest I am not a big user of social networks, never done much chatroom stuff, etc, but this just seems like the most vacuous possible criticism, based on a total glorification of how terrific face to face contact is. Also: I don't think that stuff is simulating anything; it's exactly what it is. It is not the same, and it doesn't pretend to be either.

    Philosophically, relating to people on the net just seem to me a different and complimentary experience. It provides a perspective abstracted from many "face to face" limitations. For example, I'm sure I engage in discussions (eg, right here) with all kinds of people that I will never be discussing anything with "face to face". Partially this is geography ("the global village"), but also socio-dynamics: a lot of those people I would not come into much contact with even if we lived blocks apart, and if so, I very much doubt we would be discussing anything for very long.

    This would remain true even if you took all the toys and distractions away and forced everyone into a yard together for a few hours a day. Even all day. With nothing else to do, but develop social relationships. Nothing new would happen. I know this, cause I've lived it:

    I remember the first time I went to jail how incredible it seemed that social relationships were not at all fostered by the situation: there is nothing to do, you are all there together 24/7, eating at the same tables, etc. You would think all kinds of interesting things would develop. Completely false. Nothing interesting or unusual at all happens, in fact. Zero. Ziltch. Just forget about it. Jail is intensely boring. So I have absolutely no faith in the idea that encouraging people to get together "face to face" is somehow a magical thing.* It isn't. At all. I've also lived on the street for a long time and in hostels. No privacy at all -- nothing but face to face contact from when you wake up until when you go to sleep. I think it left me a misanthrope...

    * I'm all for it, sometimes, but as a general principle to be touted around it's worth nothing.
    Last edited by MK27; 02-26-2010 at 12:09 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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