It was a great event with Nicole Lazzaro presenting her game research at Swissnex in San Francisco. I hope we behaved well enough to be allowed back again one of these months :-)
I loved Nicole's slide to the left, were she is talking about Flow a concept introduced by a professor who's name I can't spell and even less pronounce: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow as the state of mind, when you are so involved in what you are doing at the moment, that you forget time and the thing you do gets effortless. As kids when we are playing games, we have no problem to fall into this state. The slide shows, that the trick is something that is not too easy, but also not too hard.
The ESP Game was developed by Luis von Ahn, a graduate student in computer science at Carnegie Mellon. He developed the game to try to help solve the problems associated with searching for images on the Web.
Currently, search engines use the names of image files and words around them to find images. Computers are not very good at distinguishing images from each other using visual cues. Humans, however, are great at this, and von Ahn’s game puts that power to work. While people entertain themselves, they are also helping to label the hundreds of thousands or more images on the Web, which will in turn make searching for images more efficient.
I tried it out and it is fun. It has it's limits though: You can only use single words, also once a picture has a color, the system refuses to take another color, but for example for an image of Yin & Yang you would want to give it the attributes black and white.
There was lots more especially about Ekman's emotion research, and all in a sudden, it was way past nine o'clock. I guess a form of collective flow, that continued at the Prague restaurant later that night.
References for Why We Play Games: Gaming Beyond Games
It was a pleasure to meet with you last week!
A couple people asked about references so here are the three authors we used in setting up our study and I highly recommend their books:
1. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience ISBN 0-0609-2043-2
Focus concentration & absorption
Traits of this state of consciousness
20 yrs, quality of experience
1000’s of interviews
2. Paul Ekman - Emotion
Emotions Revealed ISBN 0-8050-7275-6
Emotion physiology & expression
40 years of emotion research
Consultant to FBI, CIA, ATF
Worked w/Pixar animators for “Finding Nemo”
Also: Telling Lies
3. Don Norman - Affective Computing
Emotional Design ISBN 0-465-05135-9
Computer Science & Psychology
How pleasant things “work better”
Senses, behavior, and thought create emotional responses
Also: Design of Everyday Things
Here are the URLs I mentioned, plus a few others that you might find of interest.
Education & Serious Games
http://www.watercoolergames.org/archives/000142.shtml (great site on games outside of entertainment plus reviews of the recent education arcade summit)
http://www.seriousgames.org/ (great site on serious games including recent Game Developers Conference summit)
http://www.bluefang.com/ (developers of Zoo Tycoon game)
News and Political Games
http://www.gop.com/kerryvskerry/ (political game)
http://www.deanforamericagame.com/ (political game)
http://www.persuasivegames.com/ (makers of the Howard Dean game & water cooler games weblog)
http://www.newsgaming.com/ (developers of serious games)
Games as Work
http://www.theespgame.com (labeling all images on the web game)
http://www.fatal1ty.com/ (Fatal1ty's professional gamer fan site and merchandise)
Location Based Games
http://www.shinteki.com/ (location based game)
http://www.thegogame.com/ (teambuilding location based games)
http://www.cloudmakers.org/ (clearing house for online games)
http://www.botfighters.com/ (mobile phone location based games)
http://www.adventurecompanygames.com/tac/missing/index.html Missing (new online game demoed at E3 links to 300 real and fictitious websites)
http://www.gigex.com/pc/article/?id=6654&source=00001 (review of Missing)
www.orkut.com/ (social networking site that can be gamed)
https://www.linkedin.com/ (social networking site that can be gamed)
An abstract from our most recent study on gamers can be found here:
If you have any other questions feel free to post them here or send me an email.