[ad] The service leader for Cloud is now in Australia. Secure, reliable cloud and managed hosting all backed by 24x7x365 Fanatical Support. Create your free account now.
Buy an Seagate Business Storage NAS for your chance to win a holiday
[ad] Purchase a selected Seagate Business Storage NAS to receive a $20 cash-back AND go into the draw to win a $1,000 Flight Centre voucher so you can holiday in the destination of your choice. T&Cs apply.
Great articles on other sites
- NBN Co strategic review to be released tomorrow
- Xbox One smashes sales records
- Tech leaders call for speed, ubiquity in NBN rollout
- AIIA urges Hockey to tackle taxes
- IBM accuses Qld govt of trying to ‘rewrite history’
- Newlease undergoes reverse takeover to score ASX listing
- Australia Post loses battle | The Australian
- Start-ups leap at Telstra's accelerator
- Labor won't hand over NBN advice to Turnbull
- Adelaide Uni on hiring blitz for tech transformation
How mobile and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy
[ad] How will the adoption of mobile devices and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy? Are you reaching your organisation's customers through these touch points? Click here to download a whitepaper by Fifth Quadrant examining consumer and business attitudes to these new contact channels.
50 things top IT pros need to know
[ad] This 18 page TechRepublic whitepaper explores 10 things you should know to become an epic IT manager, 40 other essential tips to advance your IT career and practical guidance for starting an IT consulting business. Click here to access the whitepaper.
Analysis, Gaming, Internet - Written by External Contributor on Thursday, November 29, 2012 10:12 - 24 Comments
Google’s Ingress creates Aussie online turf war
analysis Don’t read technology blogs? Then a new innovation in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPORGs) may be passing you by. Perhaps, like me, such games have never been of much interest to you. Or perhaps they haven’t been able to hold your sustained attention. So why should you care now?
Because, as I have discovered since playing Google’s new Android-only augmented reality (AR) game Ingress (launched earlier this month by invitation-only), you are already potentially interacting with its players as you go about your day. Perhaps my fellow Ingress players and I have even bumped into you in the street because we were obsessively watching our smartphones instead of where we were walking (sorry, by the way).
But what I have found most compelling while playing Ingress around the streets of Melbourne is the level of real-world social interaction possible. This represents a significant shift in how we experience our relationships with technology and with each other.
So, what is Ingress? Ingress is an augmented reality game, which essentially overlays the real world with additional information through a digital device (such as your smartphone, tablet, or perhaps in the near future, digital glasses). In Ingress, players pick one of two sides or “factions” (Enlightenment or Resistance) and visit real public places to capture “portals” (often key landmarks, public sculptures or art). By capturing these places displayed on their smartphones players can link portals together to create “fields” and gain control of territory for their faction.
It is a power struggle to take possession of territory and either harness the portals for the betterment of mankind or protect mankind from the dangerous energies they emit (depending on which faction you belong to). The following is a map of the fields currently established in Melbourne:
While it is possible to begin the game as a sole-player, the battle for control ultimately relies on collaboration between players in the local area. To be successful, players need to share information, orchestrate their attacks on enemy portals to re-claim them for their faction, and even meet-up in the real world to attack together simultaneously. There’s also the real risk of running into the “enemy”, literally, as they attempt to defend the site you and your faction are attacking … and then you might head off to the pub together to commiserate.
As a mostly non-gamer (but avid technology-user) I was not a natural candidate for an early invitation to play Ingress. But after just a week of playing I have found myself strangely obsessed by this innovative concept in game development. Already I feel a real obligation and loyalty to my faction, the Resistance, who I am communicating with not just in the game but also through my social media.
A key attraction of the game is that I’m not spending hours sitting on my couch, eyes glued to the television, interacting online with people halfway across the world that I don’t know. Ingress has me walking the streets of Melbourne, enjoying the sunshine, taking in some key landmarks and public art I have never really paid attention to before. Since it is played via my smartphone, the game is also always with me, and so is the temptation to check on the status of my portals as I move about my day.
There has been so much media coverage of the social “ills” of the internet lately (such as harassment and cyber bullying) that you could be forgiven for forgetting there’s plenty of positive and meaningful social interaction that takes place online.
In fact research suggests much of the misogyny, racism, homophobia, and just plain nasty vitriol directed at people in online spaces is at least partly due to the nature of online interaction being largely anonymous and lacking in real face-to-face interaction.
If this is the case, then one strategy for addressing such behaviour is to reduce the incentives for remaining completely anonymous. In an augmented reality game such as Ingress, there’s a natural incentive to ensure your online communications in the game are fair and friendly since it may not be long before you encounter other players face-to-face in the street. Indeed, while my screen name may not give away my identity, the need for real-world collaboration and information sharing makes remaining completely anonymous somewhat impractical. The fact that my teammates and the opposition are identifiably “real” and not faceless “others” also promotes a closer sense of community and fair play.
Online gaming communities already have a reputation both for fostering real social relationships and for taking action against those who violate the community rules.
Indeed establishing a clear ethics for online interaction or an enforceable community code of conduct seems particularly relevant when gaming takes you out into the real world. The Ingress Community Guidelines specifically preclude:
- harassment (predatory behaviour, stalking, threats, harassment, intimidation, and inciting others to commit violent acts)
- privacy violations (such as revealing or posting information about players real identities)
- inappropriate content (such as sexual or pornographic content, obscenity, or hate speech whether racist or sexist).
Players face having their account terminated if they breach the rules. Of course many of the above actions would also be considered criminal under local laws; particularly if they were to take place in the street. That said, it may be less the threat of consequences for breaches, and more the nature of the social relationships and trust developed within the game itself that will facilitate ethical player behaviour.
Ingress opens a window into the possibilities of augmented reality for our future relationships with technology and each other. It is a world where the “real” and the “virtual” are much more interconnected. A world where technology blends seamlessly into our everyday interactions. It is also ultimately a socially regulated world. As our digital and physical selves become more interrelated, maintaining an ethics of online communications and facilitating trust between collaborators (who are always both online and offline) will increasingly become standard operating procedure.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a portal to defend …
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Blog, Enterprise IT - Dec 12, 2013 16:56 - 0 Comments
More In Enterprise IT
- “Diabolical mess”, “Scandal of epic proportions”: NT ICT Minister damns Fujitsu to hell in extraordinary rant
- Qld confirms plans to sell CITEC
- David Boyle appointed NAB CIO
- Qld payroll lawsuit ‘rewriting history’, says IBM
- Harbour City Ferries goes Microsoft across the board
News, Telecommunications - Dec 12, 2013 16:35 - 0 Comments
More In Telecommunications
- Please accept my apologies: I was wrong about Malcolm Turnbull
- NBN Co cancels FTTN rollout for HFC areas
- Vodafone’s Morrow new NBN Co CEO: AFR
- Turnbull requests Labor’s secret NBN docs
- Labor forces NBN Co back to Senate
Blog, Industry, Startups - Dec 10, 2013 10:19 - 0 Comments
More In Industry
- Telstra shares millions with Box
- The Australian IT sector needs a stronger voice
- Xbox One goes off with a bang … but will the PS4 launch eclipse it?
- It’s not just Freelancer: Aussie tech IPOs are back in general
- Freelancer’s IPO: A billion reasons to care
Digital Rights, News - Dec 12, 2013 16:17 - 1 Comment
More In Digital Rights
- No plans for specific ASD intelligence inquiry, says Inspector-General
- Telstra ‘not logging’ customers’ web, email history
- Labor, Coalition reject Intelligence committee reformation
- Screwed: Australian PS4, Xbox One lack basic functionality
- Censored: Appeal for AG’s Blue Book fails