Interesting paper on Bartles gaming personalities, contrasted with Keirsey’s observation of Myers Briggs archetypes.
Yet additional evidence of Ancient Aliens? Probably just ancient geeks playing Papers and Paychecks. (Thanks to Brandon for the find!)
Not really gamification, and not really new, but this is an interesting article on the use of game software as an exploitation vector. Gamers spend a lot of money on characters, in-game currencies, and in-game trade goods. Many have high end GPU’s, especially the FPS crowd, making them great for any one who wants to steal computation cycles for bitcoin mining, password cracking, and forced decryption. I expect this to be a growth area for security, especially considering that most people that identify as “hackers,” got their start with things like game software protection cracking, piracy, and game server hosting.
I often tell the story of being flooded during Starcraft sessions as my personal intro to malicious hacking. Never mind things learned with BBS’, MUDs, MUCKs, MUSHs and MOOs, and how to get access to same as a philosophy student when only engineering students got system credentials. Certainly the theft of entertainment has always been a primary motivator for aspiring young haxxors. Eventually some of them apparently grow up and see the market for preying on the paying customers.
Though, in this article, there is an excellent strategic view of the game played to force Gary Gygax’ resignation from TSR. Very good read…
Full disclosure, I am not a fan of YouTube as a medium for intellectual growth. My children, on the other hand, find deep meaning in watching game videos that they find humorous, engaging, and that I find to be crude representations of teenage idiocy (you kids get off my lawn!)
But I always find a measure of brilliance in anyone who can figure out how to game a system in order to optimize their results. Enter PewDiePie…
So a young swedish guy plays video games on Youtube, does and says ridiculous things and becomes the number one Youtube Channel… Sounds like a hack, in the classical sense of the term, right?
The Game Theorists YouTube channel did a remarkably astute summary of how to use Youtube’s algorithm’s to create a cycle of new views, explaining PewDiePie’s success. You can watch it here:
Interesting way to drive engagement. Too bad I can’t go back and video marathon gaming sessions from the late eighties and early nineties to capture crude juvenile humor and make YouTube video stars out of my own group of geeks…
Interesting article distinguishing scoring from the game itself… Like money, the score is not an end in and of itself…
This article explores how video game rpg designers create engagement, and cause players to enter the state of Fiero or flow. Interestingly, it is very similar to Joseph Campbell’s concept of the hero’s journey which influenced Star Wars, among others.
Campbell explored mythic tales, and identified elements that caused them to be engaging, and memorable. The same elements are clearly present in the Marvel Universe movies, this continuity of universal truth which pushes a hero to ever greater feats, always on the border of his (or her) capacity, testing the limits of endurance. This makes me wonder what exactly these games and stories are exploiting in the human brain by using this kind of flow inducing element.
So, I posted about Fiero a few days ago. From the original article at kqed.org:
Fiero, according to researchers at the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Science Research at Stanford, is the emotion that first created the desire to leave the cave and conquer the world. It’s a craving for challenges that we can overcome, battles we can win, and dangers we can vanquish.
Scientist have recently documented that fiero is one of the most powerful neurochemical highs we can experience. It involves three different structures of the reward circuitry of the brain, including the mesocorticolimbic center, which is most typically associated with reward and addiction. Fiero is a rush unlike any other rush, and the more challenging the obstacle we overcome, the more intense the fiero.
Seems to me that are we teaching survival skills, showing how to overcome future challenges, and teaching ourselves that we can overcome obstacles, because our heroes do. By projecting our persona into the character, we begin to assume the mental state of the character, whether in a game, or a story. We enter Fiero as a way to press our brains into a learning/survival situation, and we begin to learn vicariously, as a means of ensuring future survival.
So, why is this cool in the context of security?
Imagine that we use tools that push the average user into the state of Fiero in order to deliver security awareness…
Lets use that autonomic learning mode to build better security. There is no real difference between a foul sorcerer in a Conan story, and an evil Hacker from the public view. They both use arcane arts to achieve their nefarious goals, from the viewpoint of the uninitiated. For the average service worker there is no great distinction between the access controls protecting their information, and the glorious gates protecting the golden dragon’s hoard.
The question becomes how do we glorify the defender? How do we send the Blue Team on the mythic journey, when the Blue Team always loses, and the conqueror is the traditional mythic hero? In other words, if we enter the state of fiero by braving the gates and defeating the dragon, can we create the opposite story with the same effect? Can we glorify the Dragon protecting the hoard, so that the average user identifies with the defender, and not the attacker?
Full Disclosure: I do not read Cantonese or Mandarin, one of which, I assume the original deck is written in. I should hire Kai Lan… Nihao…
From the article:
… after painting the United States as an enemy, it says, “As a Chinese person, what can I do?”
The document then goes through the class syllabus and outlines the types of training students will undergo. It notes that the main features of cyberwar “hacking attacks, spreading viruses” as well as interfering with signals and destroying targets.
In what’s presented like any other university class schedule, it tells students that during classes students will divide into three teams. One team is on “attack,” another on “defense,” and a third on “design.”
So, Red Team, Blue Team… Dungeon Master? What a great concept… More to come on this really neat idea…
Fascinating article discussing gamification and game-based learning. The description of Fiero is awesome!
Thanks to Dave Doughty for the link!
Very interesting article at NY Times about spite as both a motivator of human behavior, and as a means of promoting fair play. My favorite part is this:
game participants would reject a partner’s stingy offer indignantly, an apparent act of spite that left both empty-handed — at least for the moment.
“It’s probably not spiteful when you’re looking at the long term,” Dr. Marlowe said. “If you get the reputation as someone not to mess with and nobody messes with you going forward, then it was well worth the cost.”
This is particularly interesting when you feel like you are likely being cheated. If you feel that the other person is likely to cheat, do you feel obliged to increase the stakes in order to improve your own position, or to deny the other person satisfaction? Very interesting dilemma.