TED Conversations

Gary Riccio

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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

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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."

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    Mar 3 2014: Listen to two conversations about analogous approaches to prosocial behavior in intentional communities, meaningful interpersonal influence, and ubiquitous teaching and learning. See also the concurrent TED conversations in my prior post.

    Developing people and organizations: A new idea in healthcare (guest: Morgan Darwin)
    Episode 6 of Science in the Wild at http://bit.ly/MCczib

    Developing people and organizations: Expertise & knowledge translation (guest: Scott Flanagan)
    Episode 7 of Science in the Wild at http://bit.ly/1eXAVK7
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      Mar 12 2014: These interviews were AMAZING!

      As a 10-year veteran of the tactical gaming scene, I've come to learn that the similarities between leadership development in the actual special operations community and our shooter gaming environments is uncanny. Also, the convergence of science applies in almost the exact same ways. Certainly the benefits of the scientific relationship are the same.

      I sure would like to hear Morgan and Scott again. I hope you have them back on Gary.
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        Mar 12 2014: “The teachers of this country, one must say, have its future in their hands. The earnestness which they at present show in striving to enlighten and strengthen themselves is an index of the nation’s probabilities of advance in all ideal directions [p. 3]… You make a great, a very great mistake, if you think that psychology, being the science of the mind's laws, is something from which you can deduce definite programs and schemes and methods of instruction for immediate school-room use. Psychology is a science, and teaching is an art; and sciences never generate arts directly out of themselves. An intermediate inventive mind must make that application, by using its originality [p. 7]… A science only lays down lines within which the rules of the art must fall, laws which the follower of the art must not transgress; but what particular thing he shall positively do within those lines is left exclusively to his own genius [p. 8]...many diverse methods of teaching may well agree with psychological laws [p.9]… To know psychology, therefore, is absolutely no guarantee that we shall be good teachers. To advance that result we must have an additional endowment altogether, a happy tact and ingenuity to tell us what definite things to say and do when that pupil is before us. That ingenuity in meeting and pursuing the pupil,that tact for the concrete situation, though they are the alpha and omega of the teacher’s art, are things to which psychology cannot help us in the least [p. 9]…We know in advance, if we are psychologists, that certain methods will be wrong, so our psychology saves us from mistakes. It makes us, moreover, more clear as to what we are about. We gain confidence in respect to any method which we are using as soon as we believe it has theory as well as practice at its back. [p. 11]” (James, 1899/1907).

        James, W. (1907). Talks to teachers on psychology: and to students on some of life's ideals. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company. (Original work published 1899)
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        Mar 12 2014: The quote from William James, above, embodies the mindset of my collaborative inquiry with Morgan Darwin and Scott Flanagan that linked directly with prosocial sensibilities I found in some online game communities. A deeper understanding of these issues requires that we bridge the gap between the art and science of leadership, education, and training.

        "A vast amount of pedagogically relevant research has been conducted in the century since James’s remarks but his advice is still relevant. Our advantage today is that psychology and other academic disciplines are in a better position to help instructors become more keenly aware of where 'certain methods will be wrong,' to save us 'from mistakes,' and to give us 'confidence in respect to any method which we are using as soon as we believe it has theory as well as practice at its back.' We were mindful of James’s advice from the beginning of the investigation, and it thoroughly infused our program of research. In general, through our interactions with the progenitors and stakeholders of OBTE, we diligently sought to identify the 'tact and ingenuity to tell us what definite things to say and do when that pupil is before us.' Concurrently, we identified relevant science and scholarship that 'lays down lines within which the rules of the art must fall, laws which the follower of the art must not transgress' " (extracted from http://www.scribd.com/doc/40322968/Integration-of-Leadership-Education-Training-and-Self-Development)

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