Friday, February 24, 2006

Meeting of the minds

Social scientists studying games converge upon the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2006 on March 20th, giving insight on the social dimensions of gaming to those involved in the games industry. Read more>>

At the DiGRA IGDA talk in June 2005, we were talking about how academics were doing all this research on games that developers could really make use of, but didn't have the time to access (or weren't aware of their existence). This is a great step in the right direction.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fun with blogs

If you're a fan of Star Wars, or a fan of blogs... or both...

Wookies can construct amusement too.

Thanks to Sean E for the link! The force be with you.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Scientific in quotes.

In a Washington Post story titled, "The ugly face of crime," uglier people were -found- more likely to grow up criminals than attractive folk. A federally sponsored study (groan) surveyed about 15 000 high school students. The way they seemed to operationalize 'ugliness' was an ad hoc likert scale that the interviewer was to use in rating the individual being surveyed.

It could indeed be a discrepancy in mass media reporting of an academic study, but if no mistake has been made... this study has a few fundamentally shaky foundations. First, it relied on the aesthetic sense of the interviewers, which definitely vary. Second, it makes scientific claims based on these subjectivities (but does not seem to acknowledge this subjectivity and jumps right to the scientific findings). I could go on, but you get the idea of why this could possibly be a really really flawed (BUT FUNDED) study....
See the story here.

While it does seem to be an -intriguing- study, one must ask WHY the researchers are asking this particular question? What does it hope to contribute to our understanding of the world, if it is seeking to do so... and ideally research should contribute to that understanding. What are they trying to say? What are the future implications for the ugly and pretty, and their quantifications?

This study deserves the raising of more eyebrows than the two I have (though that would make me less likely to commit a crime I suppose than those with ONE).

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

WoW networking

There's a story on CNet that talks about bonding with colleagues by playing WoW together.
This should only be a surprise if you're used to thinking of your online persona as different from offline. Here, people are using online characters on WoW to enhance their offline interactions professionally.

See the story here about the guild "WeKnow" in World of Warcraft.

Pretty cool, because months ago, I joined WeKnow founder Joi Ito's other spinoff guild called "WeOrc"because he put a call out on his blog for a certain "Saturday, 3pm PST" to coincide with people in Japan. It was really neat. Our little newbling characters messed around, took screenshots and did little quests together while Joi's level 5 powerleveled the level 1s. lol.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Managing aggro of your significant other

A funny bit from the World of WarCraft forums on "managing the aggro of your wife." A warning though--contains many insider jokes that are related to WoW, so if you don't play... get a translator if you have one in your family, dating one, or married to one!

>>Go see the post