Tag Archives: game

Game mechanics in online dating

Josh sent me this

Not quite sure why he sent it my way except to say I’ve had very little success with Tinder myself. I have theories and to be fair the article hints at the same conclusions.

It’s playful. You put in your pictures and add some information if you can be bothered. I started with one line “Single Canadian girl in London”. It’s superficial, based purely on physical attraction, but that’s what I was looking for. You go through what’s there, if you see someone you like, you swipe right. If he swipes you too, it lights up like a game, then asks if you want to keep playing….But Tinder is addictive. You find yourself browsing and swiping and playing on.

On Tinder everything’s disposable, there’s always more, you move on fast.

A game, addictive, disposable… Like a casual game? Candy crush, angry birds, cut the rope anybody?  Somewhere on my blog I wrote about how the application affects the mindset of the user. Sure Sherry Turkle talks about this too.

Funny enough Sarah a while ago sent me a post about Tinder from Buzzfeed.

Once again, the application has an effect on the user behavior. Tinder is simply too game like. I mean I would contest that most social dating sites are using game mechanics across their sites and apps.

There seems to be much debate about if “Love is a game?” but this simply isn’t sustainable…

Touches of Perceptive Media in odd places

Virgin toiletsVirgin talking Trains toilet

I wrote about the idea of Perceptive Media at a theme park a  while ago and frankly theres some equally fun places it could be used.

Every time I go to London and use the Virgin trains, I laugh inside to myself about the Virgin toilet signs. It reads..

“Please don’t flush Nappies, sanitary towels, paper towels, gum, old phones, unpaid bills, junk mail,  you’re ex’s sweater, hopes, dreams or goldfish down this toilet.”

In the bigger toilets the sign-age is spoken aloud, and you’re ex’s sweater is swapped with your *friends sweater. Its always gender specific.

My first thought was that it could be randomly done then maybe every other one it cycles? If it was up to me, I would hook it up to the toilet seat. If the seat is down, play the boyfriend version if the seat is up play the girlfriend version? I assume it wouldn’t be noticed by most, but those who did would think it was great!

A little bit of game-play in real life.

America and the beautful game?

Canada vs Team USA Woman's Semi-Finals in Football

What is it with the United States of America and the “beautiful” game of Football?

I like many others always wondered why American’s just don’t get football. Interestingly on the eve of the World Cup, those freakonomics guys explores the issue with some substantial depth and some things I never really considered… Well worth a listen.

With the 2014 World Cup getting underway in Brazil, we’ve just released an episode called “Why America Doesn’t Love Soccer (Yet).”

A variety of TV networks now broadcast European club matches all year long. MLS, or Major League Soccer — the U.S. and Canadian professional league – continues to grow. Next year it will add a twentieth team,NYC-FC, or New York City Football Club, which is co-owned by the New York Yankees and Manchester City,which has won England’s Premier League two of the last three seasons.David Beckham, the sport’s biggest star of the past few generations, is trying to start another MLS team, in Miami.And indeed, if you take a look at a magazine rack this week, it’s hard to find a magazine without the World Cup on its cover. Every four years, we hear the same mantra: this time, soccer will really take root in the U.S., the way it’s taken root elsewhere in the world. But let’s be honest. It probably won’t. Many of the people who are most fanatical about the sport in the U.S. have some kind of ties to Europe or South America or Africa.

My own experience also has me puzzled.

When I first met Sarah, I went to the states in 2002 and besides the mild culture shock. The lack of news about Football was shocking. You got a major world wide event and there was little to no mainstream coverage! Heck the funny thing was, America actually made it to the quarter finals that world cup. But no one in America seemed to be aware or cared. I think I actually found out more about the American team in Wired magazine at the time.

Also during the London 2012 Olympics, there was very little interest. I think the female football may have gotten more support than the male one? Of course they then went on and won the female football competition… Will Football one day make up America’s top 5 sports? Maybe but its going to be a long while before I can see that happening. Which seem a bit of a shame…

The BBC a long while ago did some research into people and tv sport. There were a few different groups, and the group I recognized myself in was the ones who get caught up in big sporting events like the worldcup and olympics. I feel the universality of it really unites and ignites something in most people around the world. Even those who don’t normally follow sports.

Solomon DUBNER: Well, it definitely unites the whole world because it’s in some ways it’s a universal language. Almost everywhere in the world plays and follows football, in every country pretty much. And it just unites everyone somehow, it’s kind of crazy.

I love this game… Volleyball

If you don’t already know, I love Volleyball and have played it from a really early age in Bristol. Unfortunately when I moved to London, I couldn’t find anywhere to play and frankly I gave up Volleyball and Basketball to get serious about my studies and career.

However when I moved to Manchester, I seeked out Volleyball and was rewarded with lots of opportunities to play at different levels. Right now I play in 2 teams and play 3 times a week, and I love it. But what really got me going Sunday was playing in a tournament with a great team.

Nothing better than feeling your up against the best and feeling you may actually have the skills, knowledge and wisdom to beat them.
Yok are a very good team and maybe the best at the tournament, but we gave them a proper scare. First game we won by 2 points, Second game we lost by 3 and the Last game we lost by 1 point. It was a nail biter and amazing to be on court hustling for every ball. This is why I love this game!

Moss side mens did very well to almost beat Yok and enter the final stages but you got to give it up to the Moss side womens for beating all the other women and being champions on the day. Well deserved win and who knows next time the men including myself, will be along side the women holding the other side of the cup.

Moo made, werewolf cards

Since I made werewolf cards way back when… I kept meaning to finish the set by ordering the rest of the pack.

Well finally after about a year, I ordered the rest and made them on Moo.com again. I got the feeling Moo might actually be phasing out their make your own feature, but thanks to Moo’s help and some URL hacking, I got it up again.

The complete pack splits down to two packs of…

  • 5 Witches
  • 5 Shape shifters
  • 5 Revivers
  • 5 Oracles
  • 5 Mediums
  • 5 Psychiatrists
  • 9 Hunters
  • 5 Cupids
  • 4 Healers
  • 4 Seers
  • 8 Werewolves
  • 37 Villagers
  • 3 Invalids

So in any game each pack can hold roughly (based on 1 werewolf per 4-6 villagers) 40 villagers and a whole bunch of special roles. To be fair the biggest game I’ve ever moderated has been 48 people in BarCampBlackpool and that was insane. One pack should give plenty of scope for interesting games and fun times.

Some of you may ask, wheres the little girl? I say to hell with the little girl… (smile)

I know the art work on the cards isn’t beautiful or creative as other werewolf projects such as Leeds Werewolf master Martyn. But there small simple to understand and easily carry-able in my laptop bag.

The twisted route down the rabbit hole

Blue pill or the red pill

Herb pointed me to a piece about Redditredpill.

The man who uses the Internet handle “Redditredpill” is having difficulty understanding women after going to a nightclub with some friends. As he tells it, “girls threw themselves at us for a sip of our vodka, to sit with us, to feel wanted.” These girls had “no intent on actually getting with [him]”:

Imagine the reverse. I tried it. A table of girls, I went over to the girls on other side of club, and said ‘Hi, can I get a sip of your champagne? Can I join you?’

What was the response? ‘F— off, go away, who are you, why should we let you sit with us?’

Said exactly the same to the [women] that came up to us […] So a group of single girls on a table allowed some [women] to sit with them, rather then an attractive male, who they didn’t know, [who] actually had a table himself […]

Point is, they tried […] and failed. And I tried to go to a group of girls and that failed too, as they thought they were superior.

This may sound like the instigatory words of someone looking for a fight, sarcasm gone too far at best. But Redditredpill shared his story in earnest with a very specific community that empathizes with his perspective.

It’s more than a perspective, in fact: It’s a philosophy.

The basis of this philosophy, which underpins almost all conversations in his community, is that females get away with things by virtue of being female.

And there is a community of men who really buy in to the ideaology, that men have had it harder that women.

Yes the same women who couldn’t vote in the last 50 years for example, yes those women.

The Red Pill is a collection of ideas encompassed by what its subscribers refer to as the “manosphere,” a number of loosely-associated blogs that focus on masculinity and personal philosophy for men. At the surface level there’s nothing terribly contentious about this, but if you click around one or two layers deeper, you’ll find plenty of examples why chatter from this gallery regularly turns heads. Like this:

“You are hating women because you have the wrong expectations for them. Don’t hate someone for something they CANNOT be. Women are, by nature, manipulative, attention-seeking, inconsistent, emotional, and hypergamous. Accept this truth. Once you do, you can game women for what they are … not what you want them to be.”

The community’s name is a tip of the hat to the truth-seeking attitude in The Matrix – Keanu Reeves pops a red pill to unplug his mind from a simulated world, freeing him to explore genuine reality.

For Red Pillers, genuine reality goes something like this: Female oppression is a myth and men are the ones holding the short end of the stick. That said, men and women are inherently different due to evolution, so each gender should carry out its designated role in society. For example, females should raise children at home and men should work and have sex with women.

Like all ideologies, there are those who stand on the sidelines and those who buy into it hook line sinker. As the blog post points out, most are just interested in getting one up on women in “the game” department.

This all really troubles me because what the red pill community have done is reduced the whole of female kind down to one stereotype. Maybe there mothers were not as kind and caring as my own but surely someone along there time on this earth was, and shock horror they were female! Its far too easy and convenient to just remember the bad experiences.

If you change women/female for black you get a different take on the whole debate.

You are hating blacks because you have the wrong expectations for them. Don’t hate someone for something they CANNOT be. Blacks are, by nature, manipulative, attention-seeking, inconsistent, emotional, and hypergamous. Accept this truth. Once you do, you can game blacks for what they are … not what you want them to be.

Ok it doesn’t quite work, but you can see it working with a few tweaks?

And I’m sure there are communities somewhere online who believe similar stuff about blacks and many other races (most noticeable are the holocaust deniers). Its far too easy to blog about how the whole community are wrong, misguided, dangerous, blah blah.

What I wonder is about the self-help nature of the community. Simon already mentioned years ago how the game is really self-help for men. Self help in the context of women?

I don’t see this as a problem, IF you don’t then turn against the thing your maybe working towards?

The problem is self confidence, fear of rejection and other deep rooted things. This raises the never-ending question of nature-versus-nurture, or genes versus environment I guess. But to be honest I wonder if most of this is a crisis of masculinity? Instead of embracing, they reject and hate because its easier to hate than embrace. Once the hate starts, everything re-enforces this (or at least it seems that way).

These guys shouldn’t be hated rather shown female kind is as wildly diverse as male kind or any ecosystem. There will be some bad eggs but you shouldn’t write off that kind…

We are all different and thats what makes us human. Embrace…

If I was to list these things, what would I be talking about?

Dunedin Internship Speed Dating 2012
Really interesting the link between self confidence, your career and your dating life.

For example if I was to say here’s some tips, would you know what I was talking about?

  1. Come prepared
  2. Eliminate pressure
  3. Don’t expect too much
  4. Get comfortable
  5. Remember: desperation isn’t cool
  6. Focus on developing a relationship
  7. Respect their time
  8. Keep in touch

Now knowing me and what I talk about most of the time, you would be forgiven for thinking this is good tips for speed dating or your first date. But actually your wrong! Nope this is taken from 8 Tips For A Successful Networking Coffee Date. But to be fair most of the advice is transferable between your career, self confidence and dating.

Even more to the point is, The Dating Game: The Similarities Between Recruiting and Online Dating.

Recruiting these days seems a lot like online dating. After all, recruiting is performed mainly through online resources like LinkedIn. You check out a profile, maybe a person’s picture, and assess or judge how the candidate writes about him or herself. Does it make sense? Are there spelling errors? Could they be a good match? How would they fit in? I wonder what they’re like in-person? Are they the same as they portray themselves?

Hmmm, this sounds awfully familiar to me. Ever heard of Match.com, okcupid (personal fave), or eHarmony? Online dating is becoming increasingly popular, and so is sourcing and hiring candidates online from Linkedin.

Absolutely… I rest my case for now.

Simon was right, self help for men

confidence

Simon was right… Not often I say that *smile*

When we did the Flirt and Pickup workshop ages ago, it caused more than a stir. But Simon always said pick up resources were always self help for men who don’t like self help. Give them a book and steps forward to improve their life and they will ignore you. Say it will get you laid and most men’s ears will pick up (pun intended).

Actually as Simon says, you can also swap getting laid for sales/money or fame/success and you’ll cover all the major male self help books. It’s all the same principle, and in all cases you can take it too far, manipulate and become the hateful confidence trickster, pick-up artists or evil bosses that give male self-help a terrible name.

Male self, is further expanded when reading Girls on the net

“The seduction world is self-help in disguise. The majority of it is about developing confidence in more traditional self-help.”

The Game helps that, apparently. Pick-up artists help that, apparently. Because they give men self confidence and tricks and scripts and plans and all the extra bits and pieces. However, the self confidence isn’t the stated goal for the vast majority of people in this community: sex is. What’s more, self-confidence on its own won’t get someone from being a shy, nerdy never-kissed-a-girl type into their first relationship. The thing that will most dramatically increase the odds of any guy sleeping with, or having a relationship with a particular woman, is talking to her.

All pick up artists will tell you to do this, but few will make a big fuss over it. They’ll tell you how to talk, and when to talk, and sometimes what to say, but they won’t tell you that the key to all of their success comes from the simple fact that you’re doing it. That, absent any peripheral voodoo, they’re taking people who never talk to women, and getting them to talk to women.

The whole day was actually about confidence…

Confidence is key and getting over your fear of rejection, being generally a interesting character and a little luck will greatly help!

Getting over the fear of rejection…

Don't be afraid of rejection ~ don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!

There’s something which holds back many people from what they really want. Its the fear of rejection…

As most people know too well, the fear of rejection is a nasty fear… It can be totally inhibiting.

I could wittier on about it being a self-fulfilling prophecy, the nature of fear and what fear is… but frankly I’d rather not.

Personally I don’t claim to have the answer to the fear of rejection, I like everyone also fear rejection but deal with it in a different way.

You can watch me present on stage too but I would like to expand on the later part.

When I was lying in my hospital bed I thought a lot, maybe far too much. It was like my sabbatical (best way I can describe it?). I thought about many things. How my life was, what I had done with it and now I have a second chance what I’m going to do different.

When I finally made it to the next year’s Thinking Digital, I was at one of the workshops with talking about happiness. A couple things really hit me…

Happiest

We have 60,000 thought’s a day 95% of those are the same as yesterday… 80% of those are negative thoughts

Fear is in the mind, we build it up in our mind till its inhibiting and all consuming. Now I understand better than most about what fear can do. I was terrified of needles and I still don’t like them but I faced my fear with hyponosis. I remember years ago people asking me if I needed to have a shot to save my life what would I do… Jokingly I would reply knock myself out and then let them do it, or just take my chances. Generally I was suggesting for real, than I would consider death over having a injection.

Sounds insane but thats how bad my fear was…

Our minds are incredible, we can achieve such great things, ponder infinity, dream about the impossible, conjure technology and spread our thoughts far and wide. Our minds can literally out do the matter.

So whats this got to do with the fear of rejection (if you’ve not worked it out already). The human mind’s capacity is endless limitless but fear holds it back from its true potential.

How I look at the fear of rejection…

One More Thing, Steve!

Death is the destination we all share, no one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life (…) Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life  – Steve Jobs (2005. Stanford University)

Once again while in that hospital bed, I thought about things and decided on the grand scale of my life. These moments of fear should/will not dominate my life and if so they are purely a blip in the graph. One which I won’t remember in many many years to come. With that in mind, I do things and not worry about the social ramifications as much, just telling myself whats the worst than can happen?. Don’t get me wrong I do wonder (rather than worry) but I don’t let it grow in my mind. If I want something I’ll go and get it, make it happen, make it so.

I refuse to live someones life, expectations, fears. Don’t waste your life living someones life

Quantified self will change the way we tell stories

Adrian Hon

Was first alerted to Adrian Hon’s post when Laura tweeted me about my photo being used by Wired Magazine. I shot it Thinking Digital 2012 and really happy to see them getting some great reuse.

The article is Wearable tech can change the way we tell stories By Olivia Solon and yes they can use the photo as she respected the creative commons licence (see the attribution link at the bottom).

However more interesting is the article its self…

“As we start getting more data, optimising how we make an impact is possible,” Hon said. One example of this is Six to Start’s Zombie Run fitness app, which uses GPS and accelerometers to generate a dynamic story where you are running away from zombies. “We always think about the medium when we are telling the stories.”

I put all these wearables in the quantified self field, something I’m deeply interested in for multiple reasons including Perceptive Media and personal improvement. Adrian is correct, don’t make the mistake of falling into the trap of “thats a game, thats narrative” its all a blur and the best experiences are… I will admit we have had some great conversations about Perceptive Media in the past and I look forward to more of them in the future.

Talking of which, I’ll be at the Quantified self European conference this year hopefully (need to book a ticket). Part of my new going to conferences on the edge where the real interesting things happen.

EPIC Werewolf time!!!

My parents were deeply worried that I was doing too much again. Specially after what happened to me with mybrushwithdeath almost two and half years ago. I can tell you and them that my blood pressure is normal…

So what have I been up to…? Because my blog has also suffered due to the hectic schedule.

On Tuesday 30th Connected Social and 31st EpicWerewolf…!

EPIC Werewolf

Epicwerewolf

The concept of Epic Werewolf was to run werewolf in two rooms.

One room would be kitted out with cameras and a normal game of werewolf would be going on. In the second room would be an audience watching live and some physiologists, behaviour scientists, experts watching along live and giving a running commentary on top of the live video. The people in the first room (the players) wouldn’t be able to hear the second room (the audience) but the second room would see and hear almost everything. All those little comments, subconscious ticks and obvious body actions would be exposed to an audience in a way which has only been seen in TV poker.

Great concept I thought and the Manchester science festival were interested too. However not interested enough to put any serious money behind it for a number of reasons. Because of this the idea had to scale down quickly. The interesting part is the game was originally going to be quite small to allow everyone a chance to have a go but we had to change that due to the amount of people who signed up and wanted to be players not the audience.

Epicwerewolf

We switched venues quite a bit and thought about a place with internet connectivity so we could broadcast it live to the internet. In the end we settled on Islington Mill in Salford because of the great spaces they have and how creepy it would be to go to deep dark Salford on Halloween.

Anyway the challenge which was worrying me was how to setup the cameras and computers. I had imagined using something like Ingex but we didn’t have resources or cameras. I came up with a number of solutions including using Skype, Hangouts, Bambuser, etc… but in the end I settled on the much easier streaming multiple Videolan’s VLC on my quad core i7 laptop to the weaker dual core Dell xps machine I still have. Everything was fine except I couldn’t get any of my decent cameras (Sanyo Xacti’s) to show up correctly. Meaning I only had 3 webcams including the build in one. I swear I had 2 at home but couldn’t find them even when searching the whole flat.

Epicwerewolf

On the day I setup 3 VLC services streaming and Vee from Larkin About used her macbook’s built in camera with Bambuser. On my Dell, I took advantage of the overview mode in Ubuntu 12.04 to show all cameras views and one of them being a browser window with Bambuser running from the Mac. However the problem seemed to be the mac would drop the wifi signal every 20mins or so. This was a pain but to add even more pain to the setup, my Dell laptop would get upset with the Flash plugin and throttle the CPU to death.

We pushed ahead anyway and by 6:30pm we had our first players. By about 7pm we had quite a few but no bar… We delayed while we tried to find out what happened to the barman and it turned out the barman was booked for 7:30pm not 7pm. So we started a 25 person game in the bar room and the another one next to it 10mins later to catch people who were running late. It was noisy and hard to hear people talking but it kind of worked out ok.

Those games came to a end about 8:30pm where we revealed what was so Epic about the night. Everyone was given a raffle ticket at the start of the night and between Larkin about and myself we pulled 12 numbers out of a cup and announced them over the pa system to the 50+ strong crowd.

The lucky 12 were lead to the 2nd room which was cold and slightly unnerving to play out a game of werewolf in front of the cameras. Our experts watched from the room and then came into the main room to talk through some of the things which were happening in the game. The problem we had was for the audience the cameras were not exciting enough in part because the of technical difficulties but also there just wasn’t enough to view. So instead we quickly had the experts give a quick overview of what they had seen and then a small Q&A about what not to do when playing werewolf. This was fascinating and made it clear there was more than just luck going on in a game of werewolf.

Massive thanks to Ben, Penny and Liz for being our experts for the night and giving us great insight into the silly things we all do without even noticing. Thanks also to Martin Rue, Mark Kirschstein and Larkin About for support through the night.

Epicwerewolf

After the Q&A we kicked off a series of werewolf games right through till the witching hour of midnight. We even had the barman involved in the last game.

It was a excellent night and I was amazed with the turn out of people. So many people and such a great vibe throughout. I only wished we could have got the epic part working smoothly. Well theres always next Halloween I guess?

Epicwerewolf

A bit of funding and who knows what we could great? Multiple rooms many cameras and many more types of sensors? Possibilities are endless! This is certainly not the end of #EpicWerewolf

Epic Werewolf – This Halloween…

EPIC Werewolf

This Halloween, there is only one place to be…

Four times the deception, four times the lies and four times the paranoia. It’s a social game which you can easily pick up but is impossible to master. This Halloween we show social engineering like never before…

Islington Mill for some Epic Werewolf with Larkin About… All part of the Manchester Science Festival