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#1 Dr. Gary Riccio

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:21 AM

Calling all gamers! Join our TED Conversation, "Community Organization and Impact in Online Games," located at http://on.ted.com/j03Pl. This discussion will be open to the public until March 13. Tell us your stories of community. Share the experiences of influence and accomplishment within and beyond gaming. Beyond the prism.

 

We would like to begin a conversation about the role of community not only in online gameplay itself but in the development of relationships and character. Community interactions in preparation for gameplay, during gameplay, and in review of gameplay are generally not well understood by people outside of gaming or even by gamers outside their own experience.

 

Community interactions also can be interesting and consequential outside the context of the gameplay around which the community organizes. We believe this potential for games is poorly understood by the general public. Yet there is an intense and general curiosity about what occurs in the interactions among gamers and in the impact of gameplay in society (e.g., the putative effects of ostensibly violent video games).

Our claim is that there is "no neutral" in the effects of significant interpersonal interactions that occur in online games. Games have prosocial effects or antisocial effects irrespective of genre (e.g., first-person shooter games). The outcomes of gameplay, we posit, are due to the nature of gameplay and its relation to community intent and interactions in and around gameplay.

We would like to have a conversation about interpersonal interactions and relationships within the communities that organize around online games. Our intent is to create a "natural laboratory" for this TED conversation by grounding the conversation in contemporaneous experiences of gamers that can both reflect and influence the attendant community experiences.

We are exploring this topic in a variety of forums such as:

 



#2 (( MR.BLUE ((>

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:30 PM

Yes! This update made me think of this quote:

 

"Developing habitually healthy [community] experiences requires uncomfortable two-way conversations—sometimes involving passionate, unnamed counterparts—with many different stakeholders and communities."

 

From this Forbes article - "Staying True to 'Corporate Character' Means Realizing That Trust is Not Transactional": http://www.forbes.co...ransactional/#L



#3 Dr. Gary Riccio

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 02:32 PM

We need contributions from the community. We aren't looking for contributions that are philosophical, although that is welcome. Your contributions can be short and sweet, even a sentence or two, and we actually want them to be very practical. If possible, we would like you to refer to your actual experience with the community.



#4 (( MR.BLUE ((>

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:24 PM

Here was my full response to your TED OP. After I composed it I discovered the reply box's character limit.

 

BEGIN:

 

"Thank you for creating this conversation Gary. So, I think it’s important to scope a playing field for reference:
 
★ Global gaming community: All games and gaming communities
★ At-large gaming community: All gaming communities within a specific game genre
★ Game community: All gaming communities within a specific game
★ Clan/Guild/Tournament community: Organized gaming communities that play games together
★ A Team: A small number of organized gamers
★ A Gamer/Player: Me
 
'We would like to begin a conversation about the role of community not only in online gameplay itself but in the development of relationships and character.'

 

Relationships are central to my 10-year experience developing and leading community organization in games. These relationships are why I still pick up the headset and get after it with my clan a decade forward. They are what fuel my passion to develop relationships and ideas through the collaborate environments of online games. In a community where authentic persona is empowered, my experience is that there is no difference between befriending a gamer in the ether and befriending someone in the flesh. Books could be written with the stories of people who would not usually mix teaming up in and out of games to accomplish amazing things together (see http://bit.ly/1eD0lMw). Lives are transformed through our community medium every day and mine is no exception.

 

But, the relationships I've developed through my gaming community are only as strong as the shared values that define them. Where I come from, we operate first to uphold and protect a community constitution and Gamer Bill of Rights, no matter what game (or RL) situation we engage. If scaled, personal relationships are ultimately secondary to the preservation and protection of our shared values. I think this dynamic ties into one of the ways in which an online community can facilitate the development of character.

 

For instance, it takes a measurable level of character in an environment of true personas to game and collaborate effectively with someone you absolutely can’t stand. Example, when mediating a dispute between 2 or more clan members, I would often say:  'Look. I don’t have to like you to respect you. In fact, I don’t like you (I jest). BUT, if you carry the same torch as me , if you honor and respect the same principles as me, if you are ultimately fighting for the same cause as me, I have no choice but to respect you. AND, if I respect you, I can, at a minimum, roll up my sleeves and do good work with you.' Those that applied this philosophy grew out of their problems and at times, became great friends.

 

'Community interactions also can be interesting and consequential outside the context of the gameplay around which the community organizes. We believe this potential for games is poorly understood by the general public.'

 

What if I told you that I was going to team up with clan members and colleagues whom I’ve never actual met face-to-face to entrepreneer in an industry I have no previous professional experience in and create a successful business? You might say I was naive, even foolish. But, that’s exactly what happened.

 

I have discovered that when you are gaming with true personas and conquering challenges together in-game week after week, month after month, year after year, mobilizing that resolve around and then outside of gameplay, to produce in both the virtual and physical, can be both seamless and powerful. Blue ocean.

 

'Our claim is that there is "no neutral" in the effects of significant interpersonal interactions that occur in online games.'

 

This is 100% accurate. As a gamer, if you engage your multiplayer environment it is impossible not to encounter significant interpersonal interactions over a relatively short period of time, positive or negative. When people from all over the world gather inside a game you play to interact, repetitiously, you are eventually going to be effected.



#5 NO_FEAR

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 12:43 PM

Just bookmarked this, will check it out later.  I'm sure it will spark some insight and reflection.  Things like this aren't subjects I reply off the cuff on.  I like to process and think about them for a while.  I also need to take the time to properly read through them because my brain just isn't wired like most.



#6 <)) MR.COBALT ))

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:35 PM

This is fantastic information!

#7 <)) MR.SILVER ))

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:00 PM

Thank you Dr. Riccio for sparking discussion on such and interesting and long overlooked topic 
 
In my personal experience with online communities I've seen some of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. These titles do lead one to infer the characteristics of the persona portrayed within each community, however what I hope is not overshadowed is the fact that they all have a role to play in the bigger picture. Were it not for an opposition to clash against a pursuit there would be less emphasis on evolution and improvement within a community. Without the proverbial villain, the hero has nothing to draw stark contrast to his principles, and the color he imparts on this world would not shine so vividly for all to see. It is in this way that we don't chastise those who do not yet see the light, but hope that they may some day come to see what we see.
 
The "Ugly" as I candidly refer to it, is derived of ego driven self indulgent communities who serve only to prosper themselves through online interaction. The antisocial behavior they engage in is used to prop themselves up and to promote their strengths. Generally speaking, these communities are not interested in the spread of their ideals as much as reaching desired levels of self satisfaction and reaching short term goals. In my experience they are actually not really a community as much as loosely tied individuals who come together only when strength in numbers or some form of group consciousness will help each individual reach a desired outcome. In the broader economic sense this can be attributed to each individual acting rationally to reach his or her outcomes with no regard for the greater well being of others. This form of community is fleeting and typically short lived. As motivations are not driven by ideals and are more or less associated with in game goals.
 
The "Bad" as I see it are not actually bad in the greater social sense, however they are unable to capitalize on opportunity. Through lack of leadership, organization, and/or ideals they exist, yet do not reach their full potential to create a lasting and meaningful impact on its participants. This group makes up the majority of groups in the online world, where most gamers form smaller social circles within the larger group where they do have the interactions they desire. It is in this function that the "Bad" are actually successful in bringing people together initially and allowing for individuals to reach desired outcomes on a micro scale. In these communities typically suffer from a lack of awareness and forward thinking that plague their optimal self and hinder their ability to reach full potential. Through time and hard work of many individuals and as a collective these groups have begun the transformation necessary to reach the third stage of a community.
 
The "Good", were not always so good. In fact many of them may have been rooted in the "Bad", and even the "Ugly", however through trials and tribulations they succeeded in going beyond their former self and utilizing the basic human desires to achieve a greater good. Success stories of these communities actually parallel business success stories in my understanding of them. As an idea develops it has a variation of three possibilities over its lifespan. It can be self serving, independent and often short lived. It can grow to achieve some levels of success but fail to gain widespread acceptance while still providing benefits to those directly involved. Lastly, it can thrive to provide fruits from its labor which can have a positive social and tangible benefit on society. 
 
In my interactions thought the community spaces online I have searched to be a part of the latter. I believe that standing on principle and interacting through Pro-Social engagement that communities can have a meaningful and lasting impact on the world. I believe I have found that opportunity in the Community I am glad to call myself a Member of. I can only hope that as we strive to improve the world for others that they in turn will begin working to do the same.


#8 Dr. Gary Riccio

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:58 AM

I am proud to know you all in this community. You have a lot to offer the world!



#9 NO_FEAR

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:42 AM

I am proud to know you all in this community. You have a lot to offer the world!

 

A key aspect to community engagement is a good topic of conversation that inspires people to contribute in a positive meaningful way.  Thank you for that.



#10 (( MR.BLUE ((>

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:46 PM

^^^ +1



#11 Dr. Gary Riccio

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 08:24 PM

I may get a little esoteric from time to time because I want to reach multiple audiences with this conversation. I want to show that there is a scholarly foundation out there that can help outsiders the seriousness of what you are about. Even if the outsiders who are not scientiists don't connect with my occasional references, my hope is to show that this is a community and a value network that must be taken seriously if someone wants to be a detractor. Yours is experience not just opinions.



#12 <)) MR.SILVER ))

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:31 PM

Gary, you're the man. You are doing excellent work facilitating the conversation and eloquently focusing the discussion on the most important "pieces" of much larger threads. This obviously isn't your first rodeo.   



#13 <)) MR.LEGACY ))

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 04:14 PM

Continued from here: 

 

http://www.ted.com/c...on_and_imp.html

 

An entire book could be written about gaming communities and the effects they have on human interpersonal interactions. Overall, I think Tom Chatfield hits the nail on the head in his comment about how we need to look at the general effect that ANY group has on the human psyche and the implications of that group/community on the individual involved.

 

On a large scale, community-driven engagement in the digital realm has essentially turned normal human conversation and perception on its axis. Human conversation has been altered in obvious ways. The internet blossomed, and with that came less personal interaction, and more in the digital space. Today, it’s gotten to the point where a lot of companies are opting to install social platforms for workflow within their corporate structures (Jive, Yammer, etc.). This has obvious advantages, such as creating a searchable index of all internal conversation for quick and easy review, but the disadvantages include less personal interaction.

 

I work at a company with 80 people. We use Jive for workflow and indexing, and it works quite well. At the same time, out of 80 people, I’ve probably PERSONALLY worked face-to-face with only 20 or so. That is a 100% shift from previous generations, whose only line of efficient communication came through personal interaction. Before social platforms and the digital revolution, you didn’t post a job-related article/material on a social site for the client to review, you PRESENTED the item to them. This is only one small case, but sheds a huge light on the darkness that social platforms have created in the realm of actual personal interaction today.

 

Perception is a whole different monster. Social media and mass-online marketing have changed the way businesses, communities and other outlying entities alter perception. Due to online interaction, perception can change quickly and often and often times created a huge polarity between the topics at hand. Apple vs Android is a great example. Would there be Apple fan boys and Android fan boys without the inclusion of social interactions on a mass scale? Yes, probably, but the polarity between the two was created, widened and lives, in the online testimonials and forum trolling of its users. Is only system better than the other? Don’t they both do similar things in a way that we could not have imagined 15 years ago? Perception that was forged in online socially-connected communities is what fuels the divide.

 

So, how does this relate to gaming? To me, social gaming communities are the savior of this story, and are excelling at integrating classic personal interaction, with new-age digital communication. What mass social networks lack in actually creating organic personal relationships, gaming communities make up for. I understand that not everyone is into gaming, and that’s okay. I actually believe new-age gaming communities are setting the stage for a second digital revolution that reintegrates the old with the new. In doing so, we could create a digital world that inspires personal interactions that feel authentic, rather than counterfeit.

 

Also, they are controlling negative perceptions by creating communities where gamers feel safe to like games that are considered “noobish” and also are attempting to alter the view handed down to gamer that we are all disrespectful teenagers.

 

My personal story begins 10 years ago at the conception of online console gaming. Just a young chap at 13, I ventured into the world of SOCOM: US Navy SEALS. At the time, online gaming was new to console players, and it was exciting. It was a great time to build relationships, because not only did the game inspire teamwork, but it also came with a headset. Excluding embarking into the PC world and spending tons of money to play, headsets were new and revolutionary to the world of console gamers. Everyone wanted to not only have them, but they wanted to USE them too.

 

The community that grew as a result was a great one. Millions of players fell in love with the franchise and that community remains small, but strong today. Being a part of this community creates a feeling that you are “brothers in arms”, protecting the legacy of a now oft-forgotten piece of your life, is an immense one. Communities don’t always have to get along, they often fight like cats and dogs, but another small unit of people has similar qualities. Family.

 

I can honestly say that the now-archaic community surrounding SOCOM is a small part of me, and in saying that, can be best describe as being my “brothers and sisters”.

 

Later, I met Justin Bastian and the boys from The Division IGR. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I enjoyed gaming, and had been a part of clans before, but not like this one. These guys were/are serious. This community had rules and standards in place that I had never seen or fathomed in the online gaming universe before. My previous experiences in entering a clan was as easy as having a few tryout games with the guys and then joining up. I realized later that I was misunderstanding what The Division IGR was altogether. These guys weren’t a clan, they were a community.

 

Everyone was so accepting, but at the same time, I was just a recruit. I didn’t “have my uniform” and I was still in the awkward “new guy” phase for a while. Over time, I realized just how different this experience had been compared to any other in the gaming or online world. I was creating relationships and friendships that I felt were valuable to my life, not just for entertainment value or to fill some false void in my life.  The Division IGR changed all of that for me. It changed the way I look at online interactions, and it has already created lifelong memories and relationships.

 

I have always found online communities to be intimidating, monstrous places, but not The Division. No, those guys are my family.

 

All gut-wrenching commentary aside, I have rambled enough, and I hope you find some of my points enlightening. At that, I will leave you all with one of my favorite quotes. It just so happens that it was a marketing campaign, but the words relate to how we cannot be afraid to try crazy things, and we cannot be afraid of failure, or how we will be perceived. Once we shed all those fears, that’s when we will change the world.

 

Good day,

Mike Legacy

 

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple, Inc.”



#14 Dr. Gary Riccio

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:08 AM

Thank you Mr. Legacy! Awesome post. Why? Because it combines authenticity with imagination. I whole-heartedly agree, for example, with your claim:

 

"What mass social networks lack in actually creating organic personal relationships, gaming communities make up for. I understand that not everyone is into gaming, and that’s okay. I actually believe new-age gaming communities are setting the stage for a second digital revolution that reintegrates the old with the new. In doing so, we could create a digital world that inspires personal interactions that feel authentic, rather than counterfeit."

 

Let's get on the with the business of the "second digital revolution" and... consistent with a "higher purpose" and the tone of your post, let's continue to encourage the innovators and the inspired not begrudge those who are blinded by narrow self-interest or who simply are afraid of change if they hold tightly on the gaming philosophy of pre-adolescence. Thanks again for your post!



#15 <)) MR.LEGACY ))

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:58 PM

Thank you Mr. Legacy! Awesome post. Why? Because it combines authenticity with imagination. I whole-heartedly agree, for example, with your claim:

 

"What mass social networks lack in actually creating organic personal relationships, gaming communities make up for. I understand that not everyone is into gaming, and that’s okay. I actually believe new-age gaming communities are setting the stage for a second digital revolution that reintegrates the old with the new. In doing so, we could create a digital world that inspires personal interactions that feel authentic, rather than counterfeit."

 

Let's get on the with the business of the "second digital revolution" and... consistent with a "higher purpose" and the tone of your post, let's continue to encourage the innovators and the inspired not begrudge those who are blinded by narrow self-interest or who simply are afraid of change if they hold tightly on the gaming philosophy of pre-adolescence. Thanks again for your post!

 

Thank you, sir. That was my favorite part of my post as well. I tried give thoughtful insight into WHY gaming communities are so great in a general sense, rather than just my personal experiences within this world. 



#16 (( MR.BLUE ((>

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 09:51 PM

Silver said: "In my interactions thought the community spaces online I have searched to be a part of the latter. I believe that standing on principle and interacting through Pro-Social engagement that communities can have a meaningful and lasting impact on the world. I believe I have found that opportunity in the Community I am glad to call myself a Member of. I can only hope that as we strive to improve the world for others that they in turn will begin working to do the same."

 

Your breakdown of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly is spot on Silver. Amazing articulation.

 

 

Legacy said: "To me, social gaming communities are the savior of this story, and are excelling at integrating classic personal interaction, with new-age digital communication. What mass social networks lack in actually creating organic personal relationships, gaming communities make up for. I understand that not everyone is into gaming, and that’s okay. I actually believe new-age gaming communities are setting the stage for a second digital revolution that reintegrates the old with the new. In doing so, we could create a digital world that inspires personal interactions that feel authentic, rather than counterfeit."

 

So this is amazing. Also, I think you're right about the second digital revolution.

 

"At their technological limit, games will subsume all other media." - Jesse Schell

 

"Digital tribalism is the new order." - Andrew Melchior



#17 (( MR.BLUE ((>

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 05:36 PM

It is my honor to announce that Dr. David Brenel, Chief Medical Officer of SPARX, the game clinically proven to treat depression and anxiety in its players, has recently engaged our TED conversation. Dr. Brendel wrote:

 

"I approach this topic as a psychiatrist who believes gaming holds huge untapped potential for good in my profession. The online game SPARX has been shown to help depressed adolescents achieve remission at a higher rate than standard, evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The remission rate for the game was 43% versus 26% for face to face CBT. However, we are not yet to the point where there is widespread community acceptance or discussion about the SPARX phenomenon.

For the purpose of this discussion about community interactions around online games, I will share some thoughts arising from the SPARX experience.

For games like SPARX to have a major societal impact, people must be aware of its existence and benefits. It needs to be part of the therapeutic culture. Up to now, gaming has been denigrated by many who believe kids and many adults spend too much time on games. In many camps, there is a knee-jerk assumption that gaming may be fun but must be bad for the brain and for society. Some academics are working to stand this assumption on its head -- see American Psychologist article on brain benefits of gaming: http://bit.ly/1k2tBVi

As more research on gaming becomes available, we could see a "tipping point" toward widespread community discussion on the benefits of well-designed games. Mental health professionals will have to move past old assumptions, professional "ego", and financial/guild concerns to embrace the fact that gaming may serve a role in clinical treatment. Parents and teachers will need to discuss which games kids should be encouraged to play -- not whether they should be playing at all (what a waste of time when gaming is already enshrined as part of their everyday experience"). Kids will talk with their friends about how cool SPARX is and how to win it. Maybe they'll play it together. When community discussion on "therapeutic gaming" is lit on fire, we could see SPARX and other games transform our world and promote mental health.
"

 

To reply to Dr. Brendel, visit our TED conversation here >> http://t.co/ocRJBwUID2If you are not registered to TED, you will need to create an account. TED's account login/creation option is located top right of the page linked above. I would suggest using the "Facebook" option. It's seemless.

 

Once you are logged in, scroll down to just below Gary's original post (highlighted in Khaki) and select "Newest First" in the conversation's search option, as shown below. Dr. Brendel's comment should populate at the top. Finally, click on the red "reply" link just to the right of David's name: 

 

5701079_orig.png



#18 (( MR.BLUE ((>

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:15 PM

We have less than 3 days left before our TED conversation closes to the archives for all of time. I will be spending tonight and tomorrow posting some final responses.

 

Join me!

 

http://www.ted.com/c...KuC2c9g.twitter



#19 Dr. Gary Riccio

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:20 AM

Two Days Left to comment or reply at http://www.ted.com/c...on_and_imp.html



#20 (( MR.BLUE ((>

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 05:04 PM

Got all my follow up replies in. A final thank you post is pending.

 

225 total comments created with, 1 days, 5 hours and 38 minutes remaining!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: prosocial, community, constitution, bill of rights, ranks, 3Cs, triad