Category: sort of a business plan

Games to Solve Problems

posted by ben on 11.10.09 at 12:31, null, null, sort of a business plan, Leave a comment Permalink

I watched this a while back and suspect Stephenson did too (or maybe it's just in the zeitgeist).

http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html

The idea of using games to solve real world problems shows up in REAMDE -- outsourcing airport security jobs to asia via an MMO. Partially because of this (and having just read Ready Player One I downloaded WoW yesterday. I went to bed at 7am. These games are ridiculously addictive.

I really wonder if there's anything useful you could do in one. Walking back and forth across Azeroth and occasionally clicking on things seems hard to transform into viable labor.

There's another problem... at least for me, games stop being fun when they get hard, constrained, etc. Chess or go with expert players requires textbook openings. The same is even true of Starcraft. As you get better at shootumups they become less about the BFG and more about hopping instead of walking. I don't find these things entertaining and imagine any application of gamers to useful endevour would have to dance around this in a clever way.

REAMDE

posted by ben on 11.10.09 at 12:21, null, null, sort of a business plan, Leave a comment Permalink

I just started REAMDE. In it there's a ransomware scam that uses am MMO as a way to collect the money. There are many, many problems with this -- mostly around traceability of the transaction -- which Stephenson is using to drive the plot.

It seems ransomware is a great use case for bitcoins. I'm not convinced the MMO is necessary as part of the transaction when email would work perfectly well.