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  The Monsters of Facebook  
 
 
Posted 2007-07-27 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The Monsters of Facebook
Over 2 million Zombies are shambling around Facebook. Although the Zombies! game is the most popular on Facebook, growth has slowed a bit from about 60,000 players daily to about 50,000 users daily. Probably because Zombies are no longer only monster in town. The makers of the popular bite-a-friend game also offer a Vampires and WereWolves version, with over 900,000 players and over 5,500 users respectively. Unfortunately, there's currently no way to get these classic monster groups to fight without switching to the Vampires vs. Werewolves game, which boasts over 330,000 players.
 
     
 
   
 
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  links for 2007-07-16  
 
 
Posted 2007-07-16 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  links for 2007-07-13  
 
 
Posted 2007-07-13 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  links for 2007-07-12  
 
 
Posted 2007-07-12 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  links for 2007-07-11  
 
 
Posted 2007-07-11 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  Do 1 in 4 Internet Users Visit Game Sites?  
 
 
Posted 2007-07-10 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
comScore released the results of a global study today showing that 28% of "the total worldwide online population" visited game web sites in May, 2007 (according to comScore, that's roughly 217M out of 705M total users). The study looked at sites providing online or downloadable games, excluding gambling sites, traffic from public computers (such as those in internet cafes), mobile phones, and PDAs. Matt Mihaly of The Forge notes that people who play online games through client software (rather than a web browser) are also excluded, and Steven Davis of PlayNoEvil explains why he thinks comScore's numbers are bogus.

From the sites studied, comScore distilled a top 10 list, finding Yahoo! Games in first place with about 53M unique visitors. The WildTangent Network trailed at number 10, with about 12M uniques (up almost 400% over May, 2006). WildTangent was found to attract 12.2 visits per user monthly, more than the average of 9 visits per user monthly. An interesting inclusion in the list was the fourth-ranked EA Online, which is a support site for EA's online games, and not a destination for playing online games. The full list is reprinted below...

Continue reading: Do 1 in 4 Internet Users Visit Game Sites?
 
     
 
   
 
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  ‘Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders’ Report Distilled  
 
 
Posted 2007-06-28 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
IBM and Seriosity have teamed up for a joint research report entitled "Leadership in Games and at Work:
Implications for the Enterprise of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games." A summary of the report is available for download, painting a picture of "Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders" in broad strokes.

The summary report's chief takeaway in my view is that leadership isn't just a part of MMOs but a byproduct of MMO play (no surprise to any organized MMO players out there). Also see my notes from Ito and Hall's SXSW 2007 panel "Online Games: Beyond Play and Fantasy," or a bunch links I collected last year on the topic of productive play.

Here's my favorite passage from the report:
"The collaborative influence that online leaders exhibit is extraordinary in some cases. Gaming leaders are more comfortable with risk, accepting failure, and the resulting iterative improvement, as part of their reality. Many of these leaders are able to make sense of disparate and constantly changing data, translating it all into a compelling vision. And the relationship skills of the best gaming leaders would put many Fortune 500 managers to shame."
What sticks out here is that game leaders are more comfortable with risk and accept failure. I submit that this is largely due to the minimal real-world repercussions for risk and failure in MMO games. Few guild leaders are losing their day-jobs over a bad raid decision.

Continue reading: ‘Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders’ Report Distilled
 
     
 
   
 
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  Ypulse Interviews ‘Gaia Online’ CEO  
 
 
Posted 2007-05-01 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Ypulse has posted a brief interview with Craig Sherman, CEO of Gaia Online, a web-based community currently boasting 5 million registrants and a record concurrency of over 86,000 users. The entire interview is worth a read, but here are my take-away points:
  • Gaia Online forums represent 25% of community activity. Usage averages 1M posts daily, 1B posts created (since 2003).
  • Gaia Online's business model is based on sponsorships (integrated branding rather than billboard ads).
  • Gaia Online sells 2-3 virtual collectibles monthly at $2.50 USD each. This is a "key source" of revenue. Some real-world items for sale, such as "OMG" cap, based on virtual items, have been "really popular."
  • 85% of users have recommended Gaia Online to friends
  • International expansion of the service is planned.
 
     
 
   
 
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  VW2007 Notes:  “ Virtual World Consumer Behaviors and The Evolution of Social Networking”  
 
 
Posted 2007-03-28 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I arrived slightly late for this afternoon panel, and couldn't find a place to set down my laptop, therefore I present a transcription of my chicken-scratched notes. Abridged. Caveat emptor. My occasional notes in [square brackets].

Teemu Huuhtanen, President, North America & EVP Business Development, Sulake Corp. Ltd.:

Habbo's audience is split 50/50 between male/female, average age is 15. Ease of use if the most important aspect of virtual worlds. Habbo is moderated 24/7 across 28 regional sites. There are 74M registered users, with 22M in North America. Habbo receives 7M unique visitors [monthly, I think], with 1.7M in North America.

Continue reading: VW2007 Notes:  “ Virtual World Consumer Behaviors and The Evolution of Social Networking”
 
     
 
   
 
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  VW2007 Notes:  “Platforms and Technologies”  
 
 
Posted 2007-03-28 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Best quote of the panel goes to Linden Lab's Joe Miller, who said the company is going to open source Second Life's back-end: "We will not succeed if only one company owns the grid."

Anyway, my grossly-abreviated notes follow. Caveat emptor...

Corey Bridges, Co-founder, Executive Producer, & Marketing Director The Multiverse Network
We are platform makers. This is the start of the mainstreaming of virtual worlds. The most popular/money making virtual worlds are MMOGs. MMOs have more purpose than just entertainment. What Multiverse does is make this technology available for downloading, enabling indie developers to get in and create new stuff. Our standard business model is based around developers--they don't pay us a dime until they charge consumers. It's such a blank canvas. What if you just want a nightclub or island? You can do that in Multiverse. We are trying to enable the full potential of this medium.

Continue reading: VW2007 Notes:  “Platforms and Technologies”
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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