The Peace Bomb vs. Bazillions of Dollars

“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?


2 thoughts on “The Peace Bomb vs. Bazillions of Dollars

  1. […] If you’re interested in the game business or MMOs, I’d certainly recommended clicking the link above and reading the full interview. If you haven’t seen my previous post on many of the same topics, it’s at The Peace Bomb vs. Bazillions of Dollars. Ironically, this is also some of the Hollywood Reporter content that I mentioned but did not have details about in this post, Why would I blog about the Hollywood Reporter? It’s worth noting that it IS a Hollywood Reporter reporter doing this interview – if you’re not thinking about Hollywood’s interest, involvement and potential in the MMO space, now’s a good time to start. I’ll also clip some highlights here: Nine years ago, “Ultima Online” launched to become the very first massively multiplayer online game to sign on 100,000 subscribers. This year, Blizzard Entertainment’s “World Of Warcraft” stunned the video game world when, in June, it announced that it had accumulated 6.6 million subscribers. That’s the kind of inspirational numbers that has newcomers flooding the MMOG sector and veterans redoubling their efforts to secure a bigger piece of the pie. […]

  2. […] The article identifies the most important reason why the PC will get attention again as a game platform, and it’s something I’ve blogged about before: World of Warcraft, all by itself, is making $1,000,000,000 a year. Other online PC roleplaying games like Lineage 2 and Everquest 2 are also making lots of money, though from the numbers I’ve heard they altogether only make as much money as WoW alone. […]

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