“Music games are proven earners—Aerosmith has reportedly earned more from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith than from any single album in the band’s history.”—Is this true? (From an interesting analysis in Wired by Jeff Howe)
Streaming applications are involved in communication, and are displacing the email models that typified Web 1.0. We all known how inboxes (a la email) work: people write an email, address it to one or more people (or groups, in some cases), and then send it off. The email infrastructure delivers the mail to those addressed, who receive it in their respective inboxes:
1. The inbox model is inherently private: the email is only delivered to a select group, and others cannot see it, even if that was desired.
2. The reach of the email is completely determined by the email’s author, and it is made on a piece by piece basis.
3. The ownership of the email shifts to the recipients when it is delivered: they have to delete, or file the email, which is no longer under the control of the author.
Flow apps work very differently:
1. Streaming apps are inherently open: the premise is that users create and share information in the open. This is about supporting open discourse.
2. The recipients opt into ‘subscribing’ to certain people’s streams, so the decision about access to information is made by recipients, and this decision is general, not made on a post by post basis. I call this the ‘open following’ feature, meaning anyone can choose who to follow.
3. The handling of the streamed posts does not transition to the recipients: it is still under the control of the author. Posts can be deleted, for example, or edited. And posts do not have to be ‘handled’ by recipients: filed or archived. They simply slide from the top to the bottom of the stream, and march into oblivion, without the recipients having to manage them at all. While an archive exists, it is managed automatically by the streaming application. Collectively, these features add up to an anti-inbox model
“Quest supports a dynamic curriculum that uses the underlying design principles of games to create highly immersive, game-like learning experiences for students. Games and other forms of digital media also model the complexity and promise of “systems.” Understanding and accounting for this complexity is a fundamental literacy of the 21st century.”—Whoa: A new grade-6-to-grade-12 school is opening in NYC this fall that aims to teach kids using the principles of ludology.
“I have now spent two days with Twitter, and I have decided that it is basically guild chat in Internet-the-MMO. It’s a form of /grouptell, and we’re all out slaying bookmarks instead of orcs.”—Pioneering game designer Raph Koster explains Twitter.
“In the cloudy zone of blue feathers, the melanin and air cavities are so close that the distance between them is shorter than a wavelength of light, according to research by Richard O. Prum of Yale University and his colleagues. When scattering elements are this small, they interact with light through a process called constructive interference. The nanostructural array in blue feathers scatters light in an orderly way. The scattered light waves are in phase and reinforce each other.”—Dig it: The reason blue jays are blue isn’t because of pigment, but because way nanoscale-tiny effects inside the feather affect light. (via a Tweet from Debbie Chachra)
“Snow is transformative. It changes everything. Speed of travel, acoustics, the way the world looks. It’s an incredibly powerful game-rule. Incidentally, when in a game has it snowed? And has the impact of snow ever been truly brought off in a game?”—Why snow creates play — one of the best pieces on game-design I’ve read in years! (via Yishay Mor’s Twitter stream)
“When you Google for something, by contrast, you’re imposing the severest of filters, right from the start, on what you’ll permit into your field of attention. On sites such as Amazon and iTunes, homophily is a selling point: it’s the basis for “collaborative filtering”, whereby you’re recommended books and music on the basis of what others who made the same purchase - people like you - also enjoyed. The unspoken assumption here is that you know what you like - that satisfying your existing preferences, and maybe expanding them a little around the edges, is the path to fulfilment. But if happiness research has taught us anything, it’s that we’re terrible at predicting what will bring us pleasure. Might we end up happier by exposing ourselves more often to serendipity, or even, specifically, to the people and things we don’t think we’d like?”—Interesting essay on the dangers of homophily in the age of the Internet.