Cory Ondrejka, Linden Lab (Creators of Second Life), Why Gamers Will Save the World
Synopsis: "Games will save the world by teaching the majority of people how to critically filter the increasing information they are exposed to." Gamers are critical-thinking goal-oriented people. Games are learning environments. The Yahoo Senior Director of Engineering Operations is founder of the World of Warcraft guild The Azure Blades (this was actually on their resume). Being a guild leader requires coordinating 100's of people all around the world, working toward common goals, balancing player needs and politics all while trying to win the game. Public Diplomacy and Virtual Worlds project at USC is looking at MMOG games as a method for acquiring public diplomacy skills.
Joi did perfect lead in to [the virtues of a] user created world...but I'm not talking about that tonight.
[Between typing intently for over 13 hours and a silly technical problem with my laptop at start of Cory's talk, this session's notes are sparse relative the density of content Cory presented. His slides were awesome and I'll see about securing a copy. BTW, I recommend Cory's talk from AC2004; it was my personal favorite at last year's AC2004. Scroll down in AC2004 Day 1 notes to "Living the Dream: Business, Community and Innovation at the Dawn of Digital Worlds".]
"Games will save the world by teaching the majority of people how to critically filter the increasing information they are exposed to."
Games are a learning environment. Laziness is punished in games.
The flying spaghetti monster is proposed to be as valid as the notion of a Creator of universe (versus Kansas Board of Education).
Intellectual laziness can bite you: "We didn't know the levees would breach..."
Don't like the game? Then modify it, skinning, make your own (taking engine but turn it into something completely different).
Cory Doctorow had a book signing at Second Life; those at the signing could upload a digital file of a page so they'd have his "signature" on their Second Life book.
Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) guilds require coordinating 100's of people all around the world, working toward common goals, balancing player needs and politics all WHILE trying to win the game.
The Yahoo Senior Director of Engineering Operations is also founder of the World of Warcraft guild The Azure Blades - this was actually on the resume.
Gamers are critical thinking, goal-oriented people.
Joshua Fouts and Douglas Thomas at USC Annenberg School have done some research. [See Public Diplomacy and Virtual Worlds project at USC; and speech abstracts  ]
Use of gaming approaches for education in general.
Why isn't this topic bigger [and known]? Other topics getting attention like violence: "games make kids evil", pesky science stuff (few peer review studies on game and violence - exception: "Study: Games Do Not Unequivocally Cause Violence", was later picked up by The Economist), the idea that game industry is doomed because we have to make all this stuff (content costs time & expensive programming resources).