Supernova: Connected Play

Raph Koster (Sony Online)

JC Herz (Joystick Nation)

Philip Rosedale (Linden Lab)

Dennis Fong (Xfire)

Byron Reeves, Stanford Uni

Easier to place a phone call on Skype than to explain what it’s like to collaborate on a World of Warcraft quest. The virtual world is very complex – have to figure out who has which role, what they need to do, what the problem is, and how to solve it. There are multiple chats between different groups of players; there are logistics to be considered. Demographic is not 14 yr old boys – people spend significant amounts of time and money on this.

From a research perspective – why is this fun?

– games are a combination of reality and fantasy

– real people

– Unreal avatars and agents

– empathy for other players despite fantasy context

– activation in right inferior parietal region with real players

– brain region involved in self-other connectedness

Narrative context – story influences interest: more interesting if you know the story.

Failure doesn’t hurt.

Makes bonds with other people.

What if you could do work in this team? Create quick swat teams to handle a problem.

Lessons for work

– don’t underestimate fun

– clear challenge

– progress each time you log on

– rewards

Decentralisation of work

– self-organising and self-managed

[Damn, can’t type fast enough. Very interesting talk – hope the slides are up somewhere because they were very detailed and worth seeing.]

Jane McGonigal, 42 Entertainment – SuperGaming!

Using MMP gaming as a framework for real action – massively multiplayer offline real playing games.

Offline as in in real environments; real as in you are not using an avatar but your real identity.

Trend towards MMofflinerealPGs are

– massively scaled

– embedded in real everyday life

– heightens powers of individual

– sort of like supercomputing

Supergaming is social networking that is ludic.

– shared rules

– known goal

– synced playful behaviours


– public display

– large or lavish scale

– contrast, friction and surprise


– PDAs, cellp hones, wifi laptops, digital cameras

– SNS, blogs, SMS, wikis, tagging software, public message forums

Must be pervasive and persistent.

Examples that happened in San Francisco

Flash mobs

I Love Bees

Go Game (urban superhero game)

Flashmob supercomputer meet-up

[She here describes the experiences of taking part in these events.]

[Other stuff said… but you know the drill by now.]

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