TED Conversations

Gary Riccio

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Community Organization and Impact in Online Games

We would like to have a conversation about interpersonal interactions and relationships within the communities that organize around online games. Our intent is to create a "natural laboratory" for this TED conversation by grounding the conversation in contemporaneous experiences of gamers that both reflect and influence the attendant community experiences. We are exploring this as a form of "participatory journalism" (see e.g., http://bit.ly/MgDdwA)

Use your browser (not the search utility in the panel at the upper left of this page) to find key words that will direct you to important topics in this conversation to date. Visitors can then reply to the relevant post or write an "original post" (OP).

* raw person or raw individual
* identity or persona or self
* self efficacy
* leadership

* engagement
* communication
* second-person standpoint
* communities or commitment

* respawn or one-life or lobbies
* mental health and wellness
* hard conversations
* civic hacking or civil hacking

* friends
* teach or learn
* civilized
* the long tail

Community interactions also can be interesting and consequential outside the context of the gameplay around which the community organizes. We believe this potential for games is poorly understood by the general public. Yet there is an intense and general curiosity about what occurs in the interactions among gamers and in the impact of gameplay in society.

Our claim is that there is "no neutral" in the effects of significant interpersonal interactions that occur in online games. Games have prosocial effects or antisocial effects irrespective of genre (e.g., first-person shooter games).

We are exploring this topic in a variety of forums such as:
http://griccio2103b.wordpress.com (e.g., tags: prosocial, violence),
http://www.thedivisionigr.com/3-cs.html
https://medium.com/@URBN_SCIENCE
https://twitter.com/URBN_SCIENCE

+3
Share:

Closing Statement from Gary Riccio

Our stated intent for this TED Conversation was "to create a natural laboratory for this TED conversation by grounding the conversation in contemporaneous experiences of gamers that both reflect and influence the attendant community experiences."

We refer to this kind of conversation as "diaβlogue." This is distinguished from a web-Based LOG of one’s own ephemeral opinions. A diaβlogue utilizes multiple communication platforms to create a distributed and decentralized collaboratory for systematic development of capabilities. It thus is a synthesis of best practices in “continuous beta” and "open innovation" (see http://tinyurl.com/Riccio-diaBlogue).

A diaβlogue removes walls between insiders and outsiders, it tends to eliminate the distance between presence and remoteness, and it blurs the distinction between first-hand and second-hand experience insofar as it provides all networked participants with inescapable accountability for their impact on each other and on their respective situations.

This TED Conversation built on what had been mostly oral communication between behavioral/social scientists and informants in and around a particular online game community over a two-year period. It has created a collaborative journal that is open to the public and, to the extent it is edifying, for the public good.

The TED Conversation did, in fact, both reflect and influence the contemporaneous experiences of gamers in the Division IGR. This collateral impact is documented at www.thedivisionigr.com as well as https://twitter.com/D_IGR and https://www.facebook.com/THEDIVISIONIGR?ref=hl. We believe we thus have made some progress in developing or at least promulgating a new form of participatory science journalism (http://bit.ly/MgDdwA).

While our intent was to build bridges between communities of practice rather than to draw a large audience, we are pleased that the open conversation has drawn outside interest ranging from "Linked Wellness" to "Blended Learning."

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Feb 17 2014: By chatter I mean when the social unrelated communication becomes more pervasive than the focused collaborative game play communication. Many team based co-operative or competitive games have an "open mic" or text box so you can communicate with your team co-op players and some allow communication with the opposing team in some form but those are more limited.

    Some social banter is encouraged. When it becomes intrusive to the objectives of the game its disruptive and causes frustration and discourse for a group. Engagement, entertainment and enrichment are part of the experience but the goals and objectives are the reason for playing.

    People will and do use other communication methods in an exploitative way. Some games allow you to spectate game play and people will communicate information about the game like what the opposition is doing. The anonymity of the internet and exploitative nature of people is an entirely different discussion.

    It's like any social gathering focused around an entertaining event like cards or sports.

    Many people will first be introduced to the community when searching for help about a game or game platform. There is an active incentive to improve your team or collaborative members because it makes for a better experience for everyone. They are looking for information but this can transition into a sharing of experiences and active participation with the community as they interact and engage with others. It expands on the experience and
    on it's own provides the engagement, entertainment and enrichment.
    • thumb
      Feb 17 2014: "Some social banter is encouraged. When it becomes intrusive to the objectives of the game its disruptive and causes frustration and discourse for a group. Engagement, entertainment and enrichment are part of the experience but the goals and objectives are the reason for playing."

      It sounds like there is a kind of an etiquette or rules of engagement that one must learn and adapt to the situation at hand. Understanding the difference between the banter that is encouraged and that which is disruptive must require social sensibilities that most people would associate with a well functioning community.

      I honestly don't think the general public understands very much about this kind of social sophistication in online games. I will be interested to hear what others think or have experienced.

      Thanks Scott!
    • thumb
      Feb 22 2014: Scott wrote: "There is an active incentive to improve your team or collaborative members because it makes for a better experience for everyone. They are looking for information but this can transition into a sharing of experiences and active participation with the community as they interact and engage with others. It expands on the experience and on it's own provides the engagement, entertainment and enrichment."

      Perfectly stated Scott. This is why I love competitive, team-based games. The organized community becomes an experience unto its own which for some, is greater than the actual games we play.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.