“The third annual Game Design Challenge, held at the 2006 Computer Game Developers conference in San Jose, asked contestants to describe a game that could win the Nobel Peace Prize. Designer Harvey Smith won with “Peace Bomb,” a networked game that would spontaneously draw people together for various constructive projects, like tree planting, cleaning up, building homes or donating money. Smith speculated, “After pooling together and trading resources, players can win on a quarterly basis, or every six months or whatever and [the] flash mob erupts around a socially constructive movement.”
The full article is in the latest issue of Escapist, and is about a lot more than Harvey’s Peace Bomb. I’m not going to mention the title of the article – what were they thinking?!? – but let me mention some points from it in an effort to get you to click through and read:
- The blending of real-world and virtual-world economies (been happening for years now)
- The early-but-booming in-game advertising market (MSFT just spent $400,000,000 on a company that does this)
- The parallels between hot social networking sites (like MySpace) and hot social MMO games (like World of Warcraft)
- Social networking sites have a lot more mainstream appeal than even the ridiculously successful World of Warcraft has had
- Online and virtual lives do and will feel perfectly natural to current and future generations
- Asian social networking sites are leading the way by already adding game-like features
- Ubiquitous online gaming of the future will be based on mobile and location-aware devices – early examples already exist
Here’s some more supporting data, in case all that hasn’t made you click that article link up there yet:
Vivendi revenue from World of Warcraft, in its first year, was over $1 billion. That’s $1,000,000,000. Investment and interest in the business of online gaming is, obviously, going through the roof. Nothing like a huge pile of money to attract more huge piles of money, eh?
MySpace was founded in July 2003, and in three years has 88 million registered users, and just passed Google and Yahoo! as the world’s most visited domain. How’s that for viral success, and for internet-time?