Posted in kids, online community, Safety/Privacy, trends

LITTLE HANDS, FOUL MOODS, RUNNY NOSES 3: RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPING KID-FRIENDLY SOCIAL GAMING EXPERIENCES

SPEAKER/S: Carla Engelbrecht Fisher (Teachers College, Columbia University)

SLIDES from her blog

5-6 is when kids have more motor skills and can start to understand dispersion

Displacement effect – if they are playing games, they are not homework, hanging with others etc

Tight racer – multi-player game

Preschool

Zone of Proximal Development – if I play with a partner, they will help bring me to their level, scaffolding

Hidden Park – iphone app

Panwapa

Super Mario Bros Wii is collaboratively like LBP

Middle Childhood – 5-8, 8-12

amanda project
clever hive

2 types of friendships
– aggregate – what the masses think
– dyadic – resciprocal

There is research saying that if a kid knows the kids they go to kindergarden withm, they will be more successful

Highlights answers EVERY letter that is sent ot them.

multi-player games have an effect of increasing offline social games

urban v rural comepteitive

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Posted in online advertising, online community, trends

COMMUNITY 2.0: INTEGRATING SOCIAL DESIGN INTO THE PRODUCTION PIPELINE

SPEAKER/S: Nathan Fouts (Mommy’s Best Games), Brian Jarrard (Bungie Studios), Ryan Schneider (Insomniac Games, Inc.), Dan Hsu (Bitmob.com) and Christian Arca (Toy Studio)

Unfortunately walked into this one halfway thru. Interesting conversation, tho, about the value of adding community in the Gaming industry. So cool to see them have the same conversations as other media industries were having a couple years ago. But they deal with it on such a more empirical level than other entertainment marketing people. Their more tech/science/math backgrounds give them a solid basis for defending

“Community is all about #’s”
– registered, active, posts,
– make formulas that prove community
– clicking link, then following, then memebers of comm

Community day – bring them in your studio

Actually connected with one of the speakers, Christian Arca, on twitter and then offline (another Chicago community person!). He’s written some interesting stuff on trying to measure community engagement (including a formula!)

Posted in gaming

A DAY AT THE MUSEUM: HOW THE SMITHSONIAN IS EMBRACING GAMES

SPEAKER/S: Chris Melissinos (PastPixels) and Georgina Bath Goodlander (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

  • Smithsonian did an ARG about being curators at the Smithsonian
  • She collects pictures of great moustaches
Posted in gaming, kids, marketing, virtual worlds

SOCIAL AND ONLINE GAMES LEGAL ROUND-UP

SPEAKER/S: Mark Methenitis (The Vernon Law Group, PLLC)

10 legal developments for 2010

1. What happen with “Glider?”
– EULA violations can be considered copyright infringement
– don’t be afraid to sue, but only for big ones
– What happen to Worlds.com
– patents case

2. Why should I care if kids are making content
– kids cant enter in a contract
– kids do have a valid copyright that is licensed
– prent is license – get permission
– cc’s are implied consent
– unclear stil
– assent to machinima rules
– does cc to service (xbox live) assent to all games
– user content when there is no parental license

3. You’ll never take me alive COPPA
– 13 is magic number
– must post privacy policy
– regulation on controls PII
– verifiable parental consent
– parents choose whether 3rd
– minimize pii collected and maintain
– COPPA 2.0 (little COPPAs) – extends to 17 and under
– NJ, NC, GA, IL, ME all have separate
– looking more like francise sale regulations, comply with the most stringent state
– COPPA ties into CAN-SPAM
– ecards and forwrd to friend
– requires an opt out list
– might have a issue with inviter and invitee emails

4. what is govt talking about
– COPPA 2.0
– FTC report on explicit content in VW for minors
– recommends age screenign and segregation
– more self-regualtion and possible lang filters
– No news on FTCs look into Dig Rights Management
– concerns over possible regulation on dig dist related to consumer protection
– Always worried about predators

5 Europe rules are different
– Server rules on privacy are complicated
– adequately protected data transfers – encrypted
– have to spell it all out in TOS

6. Cookies in Europe
– 11/24/09 – new rules in force by 2011
– cant use cookies unless the user consents after getting “clear and comprehensive info”
– or stictly necessary to provide services explicity requested by the user
– browser settings can be considered consent not clear

7. Biz model changes when taxed
– all income earned by US companies is taxed when it’s receieved
– only earn income when points are spent, even in wallet system
– income earned outside of US is taxable in both places
– get acct in intl taxes and attourney

8. What do you mean I might be a bank
– virtual currency considered bank
– anythign that can be bought with cash now and then cashed out later or as refund
– besides the poss implications in banking regs, you then may also be uner financial institution privacy regs

9 Hedging currency
– if you are running a global micro-transaction model, you should probably at least look at hedging currency
– buy insurance against price fluctuations
– micro-transaction model may find it especially beneficial b/c transaction volume can be erractic and over a long period of time

10. Zynga Poker
– subject of online gambling investigations
– gambling=
– consideration (payment of something to participate
– chance random element determines outcome
– prize – thing of value to be won
– sweepstakes are governed under gambling law
– take out consideration rule (no purchase ness)
– some states require bonds to insure sweepstakes
– check your rules, dont just cut and paste

Posted in gaming, kids, tween

HOW TO KEEP AN ONLINE WORLD UP AND RUNNING AFTER LAUNCH

SPEAKER/S: Laralyn McWilliams (Sony Online Entertainment Free Realms)

live by your data
camera snoop
all data in same database to get corelative data
start logging when client build
slice in time dashboard of logins, logouts, server counts

planning

servers – main, dev, qa, livetest, stage, live

have one positive in every update and build PR around it
have data to support decision
be open about strategy
think of grandfathering

used omniture and proprietary
they update every 2 weeks – that’s hard, goal is one month
– microtransactions require more frequency
– she recommends every 2 weeks
– hot fixes are ongoing

Posted in Club Penguin, Disney, gaming, marketing, online community, Safety/Privacy, virtual worlds, Webkinz

KIDS AND PARENTS PLAYING TOGETHER ONLINE: THE NEXT FRONTIER OF CASUAL GAMING

http://www.edge-online.com/features/gdc-bringing-families-together-with-video-games

Jessee Schell
– toy story mania ride
– pixie hollow
– toon town
– pirates

10 things to try to achieve:

1. You have to decide to design for both kids and parents

2. Find themes that both kids and parents care about

– Toon Town’s executives takeover theme – work/play tension
– Last child in the woods – nature – offline tasks
– Nostaligia bridges generation gap – children want to learn about their parent’s childhoods

3. Understand what family wants and provide it

– Families want shared experiences and shared accomplishments
– Parents want to feel that they provided meaningful and useful experiences
– Parents also just want to feel like they provided
– Kids want to be more emotionally connected to their families
– Both kids nad parents want to connect to distant relatives

4. Parents want to teach & kids want to learn

– Adult jokes are teaching/learning opportunities
– Need situations where kids are in over their head where the parents can save them
– Opportunities for kids to brag/show off

5. Co-opt existing roles for quick immersion

– Parent’s understand how to buy a doll, that’s why Webkinz had a big jump off

6. Reverse roles to delight everyone

– Everyone wants a break
– when child’s skills surpasses parent’s – it’s a landmark moment

7. Consider Gender Issues

– There are 12 POV in a 4 person household (Dad, Mom, Sis, Bro)
– Make play patterns to facilitate

8. Deciding to pay is collaborative

– Club Penguin – elastic Velvet rope – effectively teasing enough in a free-to-play situation
– Mailers in Toontown gave the impression of value add

9. Safety is paramount

This is where Mr Schell’s up-to-this-point wonderful talk went off the rails for me.  Instead, he decided to perpetuate the culture of fear mongering that is so popular to do nowadays when discussing children in the online space.  Instead of going off on the rant that this point caused from me, I will just leave this point as the title, and move on. grumble…

10. Design for the family as well as for the individual
– Design to let them connect with one another
– Families are busy now
– Connection btwn parents and kids is a stoong emotional bond.  Leverage it.

Posted in trends

THE GAMES FOR LEARNING INSTITUTE: RESEARCH ON DESIGN PATTERNS FOR EFFECTIVE EDUCATIONAL GAMES

SPEAKER/S: Jan L. Plass (NYU), Ken Perlin (NYU) and John Nordlinger (Microsoft Research)

Components of a Learning Game

1. Player’s Understanding – What’s going on in the player’s head
2. Game Mechanic – the rules of play
3. Aestheitic design – graphics, sounds, etc
4. Narrative Drive – the story that moves the game forward
5. Extrinsic rewards – points, ranking
6. Intrinsic rewards – improving skills
Flow – the place between frustration and boredom
School of One
Pragmatic Solutions
NCWIT
Key learnings of req components of learning games:
– fun
– polished
– games are already about learning
– deep content not bolted on, innovative mechanics
– collaborative and specialized actions
– different paces
– role playing an demotional engagement
– exploration of moral and ethical dilemas
– exploration of systems
building important 9world of gpp
building strong narrative (dr … curious)
visuals not necessary (tribal wars)
games can be engaging without being fun
intrinsic is more strong motivation than extrinsi