Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Outlook - the game

On several occasions lately, I’ve been trying to explain why MMOGs (yes, Massively Multiplayer Online Games) are interesting to study as an indicator of how we will cooperate, socialize, trade, create and seek information in the years ahead.
The hard part part is the ”game” word. Games, and computer games in particular, carry a lot of stigma. Many see it as exactly the opposite of the kind of interaction and participation they would like to see.
It seems to help if you describe the ubiquitous Microsoft Outlook as an MMOG. We don’t think of it as playing a game, but we do spend hours in that environment, dealing with lots of players, some of whom we build up quite close relationships to online. Like an MMOG, Outlook is something you build up, it’s persistent and dynamic, even if you’re not yourself online. There’s considerable creative possibilities, you can trade, exchange information or products, you can co-create, you can have pranks and challenges.
But of course, there’s not much in terms of graphics, no avatars, no soundtrack – yet...

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