How Devs Manage Games’ Social Networks


Image She said, “Games culture is a participatory culture in which the gamer is forever changing the experience. It didn’t take Web 2.0 for that to happen. It’s been going on for years, but the technology available today is making it deeper and more complex.”
Taylor, associate professor of videogame research at the University of Copenhagen, said good game designers need to spend time studying the way games are modified in order to incorporated the best work into future iterations. This is particularly important in online games.
“There have traditionally been very few tools available for players to, for example, manage the social networks in games. But designers have seen these emerge and have incorporated them into their work.” A good example of this has been the way guilds have sought to document their members abilities and have used these to benefit the groups. This has subsequently been picked up by Blizzard in its World of Warcraft Armory.
“Designers have no idea what modifications and additions players will bring to their games, but they have learned to watch and see what the collective knowledge yields and have brought that back into the design loop,” she said. This has often been the case with player-designed User Interfaces.
But she warned that player participation can often bring the designer problems. “Players are encouraged to create content around games, but then who owns that content?” she asked. “Players also come to see themselves less as passive consumers and more as active citizens. They wants rights and often they are prepared to protest to gain those rights.” This has been the case in WoW where players have gathered to protest, and faced threats of account suspension. “Designers and publishers are learning how to manage the complex social groupings that form around their games,” she said.[tags:Community Building]

Source: How Devs Manage Games’ Social Networks : Next Generation – Interactive Entertainment Today, Video Game and Industry News



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