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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Game Designers As Social Engineers 22

Posted by Zonk
from the welcome-to-the-world-of-tomorrow dept.
hapwned writes "In an article from The Escapist, Allen Varney explores a future where a 'simulated reputation economy' will be as valuable our current monetary economy. From the article: 'The game designer today occupies a nebulous social role, a mutant cross of technician, scenarist, entertainer, architect and sometimes even artist. The upcoming reputation economy offers ambitious designers a larger sphere, a chance to change the world and eventually transform the lives of millions. If you're up for it, start planning.'"
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Game Designers As Social Engineers

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  • A simulated reputation economy is just a facet of the existing monetary economy. Image economy has been going on since the first invention of the advertisement. Image is everything and we have never seen so much spin as we do today.

    I read an interesting comment the other day - have you ever seen a review site that gives reviews lower than 6 out of 10? Not much of a scale if the mean is 7.5 and data never appears below that point!
    • Nice of that article to ask such a question without citing evidence. I've seen a fair amount of reviews in the 4.0 range that contribute to the average-to-poor scores on metacritic. Go ahead, check the site and look at the reviews they include for the more poorly rated games. Even some overall "average" (5.0-7.0) rated games have some really low scores included.

      Here, I'll make it easy for you - lots of low scores on games of all systems from various sites contained within these metacritic compilation-rev

      • I think the article was pointing a finger reasonably squarely at the very big review sites that post high scores for the very big game properties.

        Enter The Matrix - the game that went along inbetween the second and third movies for instance. If anybody played it could tell you it was a very average game, came out in the 9-10 spots from some big name reviewers, check it out at metacritic. [metacritic.com] It had initially a very high rating that dropped sharply as more "indy" game review sites reviewed it more realisticall
        • I think the article was pointing a finger reasonably squarely at the very big review sites that post high scores for the very big game properties.

          Enter The Matrix - the game that went along inbetween the second and third movies for instance. If anybody played it could tell you it was a very average game, came out in the 9-10 spots from some big name reviewers, check it out at metacritic. It had initially a very high rating that dropped sharply as more "indy" game review sites reviewed it more realisticall

          • I don't know how those numbers are derived for some review sites - Gamespy actually gave it 2 out of 5 stars [gamespy.com], a system they've been using for a couple of years. It's possible this game was rated using both the new and old system due to the release date (2003). The new system has a minimum of .5 stars and a maximum of 5 stars, meaning 10 possible values and a 2 is 4/10 (.5, 1, 1.5, 2) or 40%.

            The latest reviews of PC games right now go from 2 stars to 3.5 stars, averaging about 3 stars, so that's slightly a
    • "I read an interesting comment the other day - have you ever seen a review site that gives reviews lower than 6 out of 10? Not much of a scale if the mean is 7.5 and data never appears below that point!"

      Yeah but the same thing happens in other "marking" or "rating" systems, take education system where I live in Canada for instance, for some reason they have a out of 100 percent system yet everyone who passes makes %50 or above, and the only meaningful marks are from between 60 and 100, the rest of the 60 ma
  • ...I can't see it being designed so intentionally. If we consider the writer's comparison to the advent of money, we will see that there was no group of "designers" that designed the monetary system. It simply developed as the need arose.

    In the same way, I cannot see how anyone could succesfully design any such system and have it successfully adopted. Instead, if anything this this arises, it will arise piecemeal, bit by bit, and various small technologies arise for specific (and much less grand) uses.

    • I wrote that article, and in it I make exactly that point: It's an incremental process, likely to take place over centuries. But that doesn't mean there's no place for intentional design; after all, the world of finance is filled with countless rules, and they didn't just sprout like grass. Every rule was designed, by a committee or individual or corporation.
  • by Sugar Moose (686011) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @09:35PM (#14152797) Journal
    ...from page 2 to the ad on page 3:

    "Simulation is the abstract modeling of real objects, phenomena, events or relationships. Practiced for centuries in...SECOND LIFE. JOIN NOW AND GET A BASIC SECOND LIFE ACCOUNT ABSOLUTELY FREE!"
  • by Sugar Moose (686011) on Wednesday November 30, 2005 @10:02PM (#14152924) Journal
    ...your credit score. Way to see the future, Allen. We might even see advertisements for getting credit scores online in as few as 10, maybe 20 years!

    This seems like another in a string of Escapist articles that tries too hard to think deep thoughts. There's nothing here that you couldn't have said about the internet 20 years ago, and it's clear the author doesn't understand anything about economics.
    • > This seems like another in a string of Escapist articles
      > that tries too hard to think deep thoughts.

      So true. As another fellow here said more eloquently a few days ago, I wish folks would just stick to writing about game experiences rather than trying to make games into a philosophy degree. For example, check out Cedric Otaku's blog entry [beust.com] on fighting hard instances in World of Warcraft. You can tell that (although he's no longer playing) he enjoyed the game and and he knows the issues involved in
    • The thoughts may not be deep because they are based on a rather shallow human desire. Escapism is often preceded by over-thought and brooding self-important introspection.
    • Credit scores represent one limited example of the idea, as do eBay feedback ratings and other examples I cite in the article. What's missing as of now, obviously, are interoperability, universal instant access, and what Slashdot would call "user moderation."

      We "could have said all that about the Internet 20 years ago"? You mean 20 years ago I could have seen you, a stranger, across the street, and accessed the net to determine instantly whether we had acquaintances in common, or acquaintances of acquaint

      • What seems to be the most interesting is not the extra "options" or extensability built into what we can access (which we always have) but the speed at which we CAN access the same data.

        I could go to the library or perhaps a credit score company to learn more about you for decades now but it took weeks to access the data. 4 years ago I had the internet at home and could have the information in a day or a few hours. Today I turn on my wireless which is hooked automatically to the fastest open connection incl
  • I'll take fries with that. Here's my +2 karma, please. I keed, I keed...
  • So, in the future life will be like a small high school where everyone has cell phones?

    Game designers won't own it. Who is most "popular" in high school? It isn't the teachers or the administrator, or their children. The teachers and administration designed the system (replace "teachers and administration" with "board of education" if you prefer). While the writer in the example gave other writers a higher credit score with Wal-Mart, no matter how much pain is taken by the administration, they have very l

    • Who is most "popular" in high school? It isn't the teachers or the administrator, or their children. The teachers and administration designed the system (replace "teachers and administration" with "board of education" if you prefer). While the writer in the example gave other writers a higher credit score with Wal-Mart, no matter how much pain is taken by the administration, they have very little measurable influence on their children's (or favored student's) social success. Granted, they can influence aca

  • Well, I refuse to join a guild in Wow, the closest thing to a rank was First Sargent for a week, and the most exposure I've got is one intresting rating from a slashdot post. Guess I'd better become a game developer... Seriously, If anyone could access deep histories and ratings from previous social encounter from thousands of daily interactions it would be the end of society. No one would ever trust anyone again. That or there would be such an over flow of opinions, objective or not, that we would simply

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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