Community Development and Impact with Online Games:
A TED Conversation
Gary Edward Riccio, Ph.D
Our stated intent for the TED Conversation was "to create a natural laboratory by grounding the dialogue in contemporaneous experiences of gamers that both reflect and influence the attendant community experiences."
We refer to this kind of conversation as diaβlogue. This is distinguished from a web-Based LOG of one’s own ephemeral opinions. A diaβlogue utilizes multiple communication platforms to create a distributed and decentralized collaboratory for systematic development of capabilities. It thus is a synthesis of best practices in continuous beta and open innovation.
A diaβlogue removes walls between insiders and outsiders, it tends to eliminate the distance between presence and remoteness, and it blurs the distinction between first-hand and second-hand experience insofar as it provides all networked participants with inescapable accountability for their impact on each other and on their respective situations.
This TED Conversation built on what had been mostly oral communication between behavioral scientists and informants in and around a particular online game community over a two-year period. It has created a collaborative journal that is open to the public and, to the extent it is edifying, for the public good.
The TED Conversation did, in fact, both reflect and influence the contemporaneous experiences of gamers in the Division IGR, a constitution-based gamer community. We believe we thus have made some progress in developing or at least promulgating a new form of participatory science journalism.
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