Link List – Games, Cognition, & Virtuality

So far, I think this blog has struggled to find a voice. Maybe I’m plagued by this problem in areas beyond this blog. Who knows…

Anyway, here are a few links (and a video!) that have been thinking about this week. Maybe you will enjoy them, too.

  • The Dunning-Kruger effect and multiplayer video games. Interesting idea that could easily be tested. While the article mostly considers competitive play, it could be interesting to assess this among collaborative or cooperative play (raid groups, anyone?).
  • A few links here each discussing how “downtime,” or periods of boredom, in MMOs might be what fosters socialization. Read the blog post from TAG first, and then read Kelly Boudreau’s response post. I’m not convinced that SWTOR really offers the chance for socialization in the same way that EQ, or vanilla WoW did. SWTOR seems to allow for easy grouping, but nothing that really seems likely to spur long-term relationships. Maybe I’m wrong.
  • ArsTechnica has an interesting post comparing arcade culture in the USA to Japan. I’m linking this mostly because I’ve been thinking about the literature on media effects and agression resulting from playing video games. If video games really make us violent, one would expect arcades to be a very dangerous place. =p
  • Nature did a great news article on four possible futures for fMRI research. Check it out!
  • Finally, there is a growing discussion among some academic circles that says we are all foolish idiots for thinking/talking about the Internet in terms of Cyberspace, or digital exceptionalism. Read John Carter McKnight’s post and then watch this talk (embedded below) from James Bridle. This talk is full on interesting ideas, but Bridle really nails the idea when he says “Space is a really bad metaphor for the Internet” (start at 4:30).

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  1. Gaz,What you describe is toallty normal behavior. Games are destined to be boring, even big games with many avenues. Given enough time, you will tread them all. I’ve been experiencing the same kind of thing for years, and recently it’s gotten much, much worse. Right now I’m splitting my time between six games that I play for a few hours each week instead of one game I play a lot. I play at least 1 game a day on Magic the Gathering Online, win at least 1 BG on my rogue in WoW, rotate my duty officer missions on Star Trek Online, rotate my crew missions on Star Wars, play Skyrim for an hour now and then, and play a few turns of Civ from day to day. I’ve developed game attention deficient disorder.I think it comes from playing so much for so long. With nothing really new available, we get tired of the same transposed games that can’t keep our attention, so we dabble.Your second question I think comes down to Participation Bandwidth, a term I picked up from McGonigal’s Reality is Broken. Essentially, there is a finite amount of time, energy, and money people will invest in game activities, and with more and more games, each one starves a little more. Eventually, one might appear that’s powerful enough to consolidate a lot of those resources in one place (like WoW did), but it becomes harder and harder the more options players have. End game may be flawed, but more so the entire concept of MMOs. How many worlds can you split your time between while still being engaged? Sincerely,StubbornStubborn recently posted..

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