Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Games and my gaming generation

I have always been a gamer, I grew up with the sense of consumerism "I need to have the latest". I got into computers for the purpose of playing games. I spent hours upon hours of my life playing them, and I still do.
A few weeks ago i flirted with the idea is there some manner that all this gaming expertise and hours be utilized we utilized in a way that is not convoluted.
So I Dug in a bit and found two interesting utilizations that have already been implemented.
by the way both of them had video seminar's on Google video.
The first idea deals with consumer marketing and surveys, essentially the notion that a survey in its current form is limiting due to the number of questions, bias, error margin, and honesty of replies.
That is beside the chore nature of filling one.
The premise is the following:
  • You establish a virtual stock market based on attributes you want to survey on.
  • You setup session with a group of users
  • it depends on two main things, what the user thinks, and what the user thinks other people would think. now that by it self will provide bias results due to people thinking others would like what they would think.
  • You are not limited to the 20 question paradigm in this case since like a stock market people focus on say a fraction of whats so offered, so by establishing some common stocks between different group the market will reach an equilibrium and reduce bias of the user.
  • values got be extracted out of the test and be assigned to different attributes. this will help with the pricing.
  • mainly the people are driven by their competitive nature, so the drive to win will cause the users to exhibit genuine interest in the survey.
This research was mainly done by prof. Ely Dahan. Now am not an expert on consumer market research but from the premise of it. this manner of doing a survey tend to eliminate a lot of the major hurdles of an orthodox survey. It highly resembles Fantasy sports game am not sure how popular they are here but they are another phenomenon of sorts
  • it is much faster.
  • more accurate(according to him).
  • Results tend to be pretty consistent across the different groups it was tested on.
  • easily accessible.
  • FUN.
  • Most importantly cheaper.
The second application I came across was utilizing the collective (internet user base) to solve problems that are simple for a human mind to resolve while currently are to complex for computers. (their example was the captcha)
They applied this idea to 3 online games. the objective for each game built on the other one:
  • ESP Game: this is a two player game, people are paired and shown a picture. they are told to guess what the other person used to describe the picture and they are scored on how fast they get an answer. Using those words you can caption the pictures available on the net at a remarkable pace.
  • Verbosity game: expanding on the previous game they used context template to describe a picture instead.
  • Peekaboom: This is the latest game where you are giving a word and a picture and you much guide your peer to guess the word. this will provide location of object that could be used to highlight keywords in a picture search results.
Just having the satisfaction of actually achieving something other than have fun and pastime is monumentally gratifying.

On the flip side of things there is whole culture that is evolving around MMOG(massively multiplayer online games). For instance world of warcraft is has hit recently more that 8 million active players (at 15$ a month thats a net income of 120 million a month OR $1.44 billion a year) . another popular game is Second life this is not exactly a game, the closest thing I can describe with is a 3d realization of the internet. according to the economist in 2004 it is estimated that more than $880 on online goods and services (search ebay if u don't believe this). just to note 2004 was before those 2 games i mention were this popular.

Currently there are people making part of their income just from playing games.
So the next time anyone tries to undermine you passion for games just through some of those numbers in their face and if they are level minded they would zip it.
The coming generation is a gaming one.

ps. the video seminars i talked about way way way in the beginning of this post;
How can we better understand customers? Prof. Ely Dahan presentation regarding STOC a consumer market research tool
Human Computation This is the second application of games in business i talked about

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2 Comments:

  • I play computer games from time to time. Mainly I play three types of games. First is need for speed. Second is simulation games particularly Sim City 4 and The Sim 2. I also play small games downloaded from gamehouse, msn zone....

    I am not an addict, but I do spend valuable time when I enjoy a game!!

    By Blogger Devil's Mind, At 20/1/07 05:09  

  • hey thanks for the reply. glad that you enjoy playing games :)
    and whenever you feel like wasting time and still feel like ur accomplishing alot try to play one of the games here
    ENJOY

    By Blogger No_Angel, At 23/1/07 19:44  

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