Web 2.0

Liz Lawley’s closing keynote – LITA Forum

After a truly fabulous “continental” breakfast which included an egg & bacon sandwich and a breakfast burrito (thanks, LITA!!), I went back to my room to pack. Now that all that is done, I’m in the ballroom, waiting for the closing keynote by Liz Lawley,of the RIT Lab for Social Computing. I’ve seen her give this talk before, at Internet Librarian, but I’ve heard this is an updated version, so I’m all ears!
The session title is Technical/Tangible/Social. She’ll be talking about a city-wide game (in conjunction with her local newspaper) as well as her traditional tech/tang/social presentation. She started with a quote that starts: “One day we will look back with embarrassment on this era when all of our virtual experiences are locked behind a screen”. She mentioned a USB doll that stands up when an IM buddy logs on, then falls down when they log off and the botanicalls product, which tweets when your plants need to be watered. She then showed pics of Make: and Craft: – I’d not seen the Craft: magazine… – both are put out by O’Reilly, the programming books publisher.
She mentioned Ravelry!!!! So cool – “object-oriented sociality”, you can do some amazing pivot searches – look up the yarn that you just bought on sale, limit to just knitting projects, limit to just type of garment… etc.
Next was Moo cards – nice because they are quality – they feel good to hold.
Go to where they are – not a good idea; make a place where they want to be. (not sure I agree with this, I still think it’s a good idea to get out there and be accessible)
Next she goes to the talk “Picture the Impossible: A technical, tangible, social game”. An alternate reality game – but calling it a city-based adventure game. “It’s non-trivial to come up with a plan for a game of this magnitude.”
Missions: learn the history of the city; explore the city itself; give something back to the community; socialize
“What are the verbs associated with your game?” -excellent question and a good way to combat scope creep.
Looked at places to go (public market in Rochester), looked at (and tied into) events that were happening during the game, included a big party at the end.
They did this with a $0 budget; created a narrative involving a secret society that was splintered into 3 factions (game players choose a faction; their points go toward that faction) and at the end of the game, that society would throw a party for those who completed the game (needed to get an invite to this exclusive party). They picked 3 local charities to involve in the game as well.
Making players choose the faction immediately makes them more invested in the game (WoW’s character/faction choice, etc.). They created a theme per week (7 weeks, with the celebration on the 31st of Oct.).
She did get some small amounts from newspaper and college with a bit more from MS to use Bing’s mapping features during the Bing launch.
Lesson learned: really clarify authority & responsibility before heading off to work on this kind of thing.
Picture The Impossible launch trailer – YouTube
Launched on Sept. 12 with 800 pre-registered.
She’s been spending the last 10 minutes or so showing us the games and such and it’s completely fascinating…
2000+ fully registered players (valid phone or facebook connect account). Many of the most active players are women and mothers.
She hopes that the model will be replicated elsewhere – especially in public libraries.
At that point, she finished and I have to run to check out of my room.

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