Friday, June 30, 2006

Social { media | software | games }

In 1996 internet was The social medium and in Finland chat community with its volunteer moderators was something incredible. It actually did not have that much to do with work (=Duuni) as the most popular forums were Adam&Eve, Culture and Vices. Anyhow now the social aspect of digital communication is on everyone's lips again. At the VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) social media was selected to be one of the focus areas of our research, the net is full of social software, social games, MMOGs, mash-ups, blogs and a broad variety of services from Flicker and IRC-galleria to Habbo Hotel and Pluck. It is just a question of time when the trend of 'anything-social' will invade mobile devices.

One thing that bothers be is that the word 'social' is too often used just as a synonym to communication. Thus I would like to inspire some discussion of social media. Let's start with short and simple definitions.

Social software
Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities.

Social games
Most often social games refer to virtual game rooms and Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG). The social aspect comes from the possible to meet, cooperate and interact with other people in a virtual world. World of Warcraft, Legend of Mir, Habbo Hotel, Second Life and There and some of the most popular ones.

Social bookmarking
Some sites allow users to post their list of bookmarks—or favorite websites—for others to search and view. The object is for people to meet others with whom they share a common interest.

Social media
According to Flickr post: I think of it as a group of media producers that is primarily it's own audience (source:

The discussion about social media draw nearer on participatory media and the talk about open innovation (Chesbrough) and users as innovators (von Hippel) and Jose Luis Orihuela's 10 thesis about eComm.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The future of mobile: minigames

I have a strong belief that the future for mobile (phone) games will be minigames. Networked, social, participatory, ad hoc minigames. Games that utilize mobility (location, bits and pixels at certain location, speed, brightness, colours, ...) in a rich way.

Aside from utilizing mobility aspect in games mini games could also open up a whole new world to non-gamers or casual "whatever" gamers. If just mobile game developers would come up with the same idea (believe me, you'll make billions!!)...

In the meantime enjoy:
Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training

Women In Games 2006

The discussion about girls/women and digital games (as players, subjects, objects, designers...) has already been going on for 10+ years. A lot has happened in the real world but sometimes the academic debate seems to be stucked in the 1990s. Luckily there are also events that really embrace 'lessons to be learned' attitude and bring out successful practises and good results.

One of such events is Women in Games conference that will be held in 10. - 11th July 2006 in University of Teesside, Middlesbrough UK -- in the middle of nowhere from my perspective.
Check the programme: < Women In Games 2006>.