Social Media and Gaming

“Gamers are loners.”, “Gaming is not social.”, “Everything was better in the past.”
In the old days, when kids went to the arcade, they went with friends. These days, kids lock themselves in their rooms alone with their gaming device. That isn’t social, or is it?

Sony and Microsoft don’t agree with these statements. Their latest products, respectively the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, have social media integrated. They blend the online and offline world. For example, when a friend finds a legendary item while playing ‘single player’, the position of this item appears on your single player map too.
While playing a videogame you can also stream your gameplay live. This way your friends can watch you play and via their headsets they can interact with you. There’s even the possibility to aid your friend while using your tablet or phone. (Hunt 2013)

You could say console gamers are finally catching up with PC gamers on the social aspect. Failbetter Games, for example, is pulling people in socially long before Sony and Microsoft did. Failbetter creates unique interactive stories, like Fallen London, “which could be best described as a sort of choose your own adventure story in which you play alongside Facebook and Twitter friends, asking them for help”. (Harper 2013)

Moreover, the crowd-funding website Kickstarter lets both big and small game developers fund their game ideas. This really changes the gaming industry, because fans spread the word themselves via Twitter instead of the developer marketing their games via traditional media. (Harper 2013)

There are countless communities where people spread their love for gaming. People interacting, collaborating and sharing. Building new relationships, maintaining them, even ending some.
It’s like people are all around you, but are they really? Is it the same as having a real person standing next to you, breathing? What is the difference? Do you think people are less social because of these changes in gaming that are supposed to make it more social?

References:
– Hunt, T. (2013) ‘5 Ways Video Game Companies are Leveraging Social Media’. Visited on 4 November 2015 via https://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/media-journalism/5-ways-video-game-companies-are-leveraging-social-media/.
– Harper, E. (2013) ‘Insiders Explain How Social Media and Video Games Are Merging’. Visited on 4 November 2015 via http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-video-games/.

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Project Marilyn, an Open Source Cancer Research

When I was looking for more information about peer production and open source, I came across a very interesting article. This article is about a project to fight cancer. Did you know that one out of three people will get cancer in their lifetime?

Isaac Yonemoto came up with a solution. This solution is the development of unpatented drugs. These drugs should be sold by pharmaceutical companies for a reasonable price, so that these drugs will become accessible to everyone. The open source software and industry has already proved that patents are not necessary for innovation. Without patent, the drugs are less expensive and it is easier to develop better drugs.

This video will tell you briefly what the project is about:

The Marilyn Project

Marilyn Project is an open source project for developing a cure for cancer. This drug is patent free. You can support this research by donating money or bitcoins. A xenograft experiment will be funded with this money. Xenograft means the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another. Yonemoto can further develop the promising anti-cancer compound 9DS because of this xenograft experiment. This experiment needs to be completed before 9DS can move on to clinical trials. All the data is published online on the site http://www.indysci.org.

9DS

9DS was developed by Barbare Gerratana, a researcher at the University of Maryland. When she took a job at National Institute of Health, she was unable to continue her work. Because she had already published her research without any patent, big pharmaceutical companies were unlikely to sponsor it. However, this unpatented work does have an advantage. Because it was never patented, this work is now in the public domain. Now anyone can work on it, as in open source software. Yonemoto came across this research and continued her work.

Budget

The plan of Yonemoto is to spend the donations on scientific expenses such as materials to produce 9DS. You can see the total budget on the site (http://pledge.indysci.org/liberate-pharmaceuticals). Anyone can donate through money or bitcoins, but also by buying gifts like a coffee mug or t-shirt. It is a type of crowdfunding. Today (18 October 2014) the counter is $ 33.519 of $ 50.000. There are 10 days left.

The question is whether this project will really work. What do you think? Will Yonemoto get the required budget? Or do you think people do not want to donate to an open source project? Would you like to donate yourself? In addition, do you think open source projects like this really work? Let me know!

References:

http://www.wired.com/2014/09/man-quest-open-source-cancer-research/

http://pledge.indysci.org/liberate-pharmaceuticals

http://groups.molbiosci.northwestern.edu/holmgren/Glossary/Definitions/Def-X/Xenograft.html

Crowdfunding: My free implants

When doing  my homework assignment about niche social networks in week 5, I found an interesting online networking site. It’s called myfreeimplants.com. Basically, this is a website which makes it possible for women to get free implants because of contributors wants to help these women to get those implants. This is a good example of crowdfunding. The only thing that the women need to do is register on the website, create their own profile, choose their goal, set their limit and make friends. Contributors can chat with the women and when they think that a particular women needs financial help, they can just donate money to these women to make their dreams come true. In exchange they receive photo’s, video’s  and messages. Surgeons can also register themselves on the website. The clinic gets paid directly from the website, without fees, forms or delay. I was actually quite surprised that according to this website, they have almost 9 million page views per month.

Source: http://myfreeimplants.com/how-it-works

Crowdsourcing one last time.

Last week we all had nice discussions about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

We came to the conclusion that most people would give their money for a good cause (like Wikipedia or research that would help a developing country) but not for someone to do whatever he/she wants because they are likable or have many friends who voted for them.

There is really nothing THAT much more I can say about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding anymore on what it is and how it works as we discussed it in class, but I was wondering – was there a company that had to deal with it and they could really seem like the “good guys”, who really “seem” to do it all for you? It all depends, in the end – from Mr Koren we saw how even the good guys had  ‘deal under the table’ with the banks, with travel sites you have to choose the ones with an idea and so on. Was there a crowdsourcing company that just made it seem like everything was working for you and the big corporations gave something (of course with gaining something, otherwise I’d be talking about Neverland of some sort). And so, my dear readers, I FOUND something!

I present to you – AchieveMint – http://mashable.com/2013/08/02/achievemint/

The article explains what they do, who they work with, but basically you get money for every 1000 points of healthy or good activities – checked-in on Foursquare that you’re going to the beach – points, checked-in at a healthy food store – points, run 2.1km today – points, tweeted something about health – points, went to Church – points and so on. 82, 000 users so far (now maybe more) from the USA and growing.

Do you think there is such a thing as 100% “pure, good” crowdsourcing/funding platform? Everyone needs their gain to make it work, money doesn’t grow on trees, but I mean as clean as it gets.

Tips for crowdfunding

This week’s subject is about crowdfunding, so I searched the internet to find some tips about how u can raise the money you need to reach your goal. I combined several idea’s and summarized this.

Make sure you choose the best crowdfunding platform

This depends on several things. For instance the amount of money you want to raise or the kind of business or idea you want to fund. Kickstarter, for example, is a site that requires some creative idea’s while ProFounder is more for the traditional businesses.

Make clear what audience you are targeting

Of course you have to find out what people are the most attracted to your ideas, but you must also think of people who can help you raise more attention. So don’t just focus on the ones that are the most likely to give you the highest amount of money per person, but also attract people who pass on your idea’s and get their friends, family, etc. involved!

Make a plan

It sounds really simple, but don’t just post your idea on the web and wait what comes out of it. Before you share your idea’s you should already have thought about step two, three, four and maybe even more. Ask yourself the question what if my first attempt fails? Think about how frequently you going to promote your idea’s so that your promotions per week will be at a stable level, and also be prepared when your idea raises more money than expected.

Choose your ‘cash-goal’ wisely

Don’t overestimate the power of crowdfunding. It can only take you up to a certain amount of money. The average amount of money that was raised by crowdfunding was €10.000,- in the Netherlands. Some have raised up to €100.000,- , but this is very hard to achieve. So what you can do to raise more money is to break your projects in smaller pieces. This way you can raise money multiple times and even show progress from your previous projects (this motivates people to fund you again and might even attract more funders from it successes).

Get your funders a reward

This is the last tip, but certainly not the least. Get your funders a reward if your idea or business succeeds. Be creative and you will attract more people to fund your idea. An example can be that when someone donates you €10,- ,to help you finish your album, you can give them your album for free.

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/11-tips-for-crowdfunding-how-to-raise-money-from-strangers/

http://www.dezaak.nl/crowdfunding:-8-bouwstenen-voor-een-goede-campagne-3230150.html

Homework assignment crowdsourcing and crowdfunding

Nowadays, there are a lot of companies/organizations that use crowdsourcing or crowdfunding. It became a popular concept, and many companies made profit out of it. The examples I’ll discuss are about Lay’s (a crowdsourcing project) and the second is WakaWaka Power (a crowdfunding project).

Lay’s is the brand name for a number of potato chips varieties. Lays wanted to introduce a new flavor of potato chip so they started a campaign ‘Maak de Smaak’ to develop a new flavor in collaboration with RTL 4. The company announced that the crowd could develop a flavor instead of Lays. They asked their consumers to weigh in and share their ideas.

WakaWaka Power is a solar lamp. The WakaWaka is an initiative to help 1.5 billion people around the world who are dependent on dangerous, polluting kerosene lamps. The WakaWaka is the most efficient solar lamp in the world and uses solar cell technology. The lamp can also be used to charge your cellphone or tablet. The company received over €180.000 via OnePlanetcrowd and €300.000 via Kickstarter.

Both campaigns were very successful, but different in their main goal. Lays wanted more consumers and brand awareness. WakaWaka wanted to help other people by raising money for their solar lamp.

Homeworkassignment Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding

There are a lot of examples of crowdfunding. The reason behind this is the fact that crowdfunding is very popular nowadays. But not every crowdfunding project has a happy ending. Not all projects can reach their funding goal.

The first example I want to show is the Ouya gameconsole. With a goal to raise $950.000 in 30 days, it was already a pretty big project. But they never thought it would be so popular, that they raised $8,596,474 when the campaign ended. This was one of the most successful crowdfundingprojects of Kickstarter.

The Ubuntu Edge, a yet to be created and released smartphone by Canonical, tried to raise $32 million in 30 days using IndieGoGo. They never managed to reach that amount, but they do have the record of largest amount raised in a crowdfunding campagin, having rasied a total of $12.8 million.

In this case, the strength of Ouya, was the weakness of the Ubuntu Edge. Ouya had a lower entrance barrier, a better known product and also a much better marketing. The Ubuntu Edge had a pretty good product, but it wasn’t well known due to their operating system. They had a high entrance barrier and their marketing was lacking. The exposure of the Ubuntu Edge was too small, and thus hampering the performance of the crowdfunding campaign.

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