This has been kind of an odd week. I don’t do a lot of traveling for work, and most of the time I don’t travel West, at least not very far West. This week however, I traveled about as far West as you can get and still be in the lower 48 states, and came all the way to San Francisco. For my geek friends out there, No, I have not seen a couple of whales, I have not been across the bay in Alemdea, I have not even had any Italian, but there is still time and well I did see some sean lions last night. And I did see a ship though I don’t think it was a Nuclear “wessel”
I am here for a community mangers conference, sponsored by one of the companies that I do business with during the course of my day job. The conference has been very informative, really a lot more so than I thought it would be. Honestly I had a feeling that most of the conference would be about marketing, and as much as I appreciate that I don’t really get into it, meaning that it is really not my thing.
With that being said, I really enjoyed even those talks more than I thought I would. The atmosphere here is rather infectious, and Lithium Technologies, who is hosting the conference really knows how to put on a good show. If nothing else I have learned a lot.
Jane Mcgonigal talked last night about gaming. I have to say that I was pretty much dreading sitting through this talk. There were a couple of reasons why. First I am not a gamer. I really never have been, and I really have hard time getting into that culture. I think that sounds a lot like, “Hey you kids get off of my lawn.” The second and more serious reason I was dreading this was “Gamification.” I really dislike that idea. I don’t think it really has a place. I may be very wrong, and after the talk yesterday I am thinking maybe I might need to rethink why I dislike the idea. I won’t go into all the things she talked about, but one of the things that she talked about was shared problem solving. That is the idea that gamers will work together to solve a problem if they deem it worthy.
This is not a new idea. SETI has been doing this for years. You think it is cool to search for ET’s down load our screen saver and you can help us search for them. You put some stats behind it, you give people rankings and boom, not only do you get people helping solve a problem, but they compete to see who can solve more of the problem. There are more engaging problems like folding proteins that actually require not just your computer but also some level of human interaction, and with a community this large, you are bound to be able to solve some problems.
Since I mentioned that this is a large community here are just a couple of numbers that were thrown around. Angry Birds has been played collectively for 200,000 years. There are 1 billion people in the online gaming community. That is more than Facebook and Twitter combined. If you took every article On wikipedia in its current state meaning edits and everything it would take just three weeks of time for angry birds players to have written them. They figure that was somewhere in the in 100,000 man hours worth or work.
Oh and my favorite Statistic. Playing games has been shown safer and more effective for treating depression in women than drugs. I am still trying to figure out how to use that statistic.
So that is what I have been up to this week. I do have some writing that I am going to post later today on my writing site (because it is Friday.) but that pretty much covers my week.