Decided to bring up the ‘Corporation of Public Gaming’ concept I first introduced in February. This time I want to cover a little more directly what I feel such a concept would be. First, I’ve decided to try out a new name for the concept: The Corporation for Public Media (CPM). I don’t want to limit to video games alone with this organization as the Internet at large should be included with this endeavor.
Before I continue, here’s a little review of recent weeks of highly publicized public gaming projects and research grants.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced the first round of recipients in their Health Games Research Project. Over $2 million to various institutions focusing on using video games for public health research. Some of these projects are research-only projects while others are focused on games for public consumption. For you NPR listeners, you may have heard their sponsorship announced for the past few months.
At Games for Change conference in NYC, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her collaboration with Arizona State University with a game called Our Courts. It’s a piece that addresses the lack of knowledge of the American judicial system.
It’s easy to claim that gaming violence has no correlation with real world violence, but those arguments are a bit hollow if you can’t provide data to corroborate; or even better, a fancy line graph.
The graph makes no direct claims towards a relationship between real world and gaming violence, though it’s interesting to see an inversely proportional trend of violent gaming releases and incidents of real crime.
We have to be very careful with how we state this information.
While it’s easy to jump to the conclusion, these facts can not prove that violent video games cause a REDUCTION of violent crimes. There are simply way to many factors at play to make this claim. This would be a separate set of studies to determine what the real factors are and even then may never be truly ‘solved’.
A few weeks ago, I went to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA with a friend of mine. I had gone to its predecessor in Boston in 1990, The Computer Museum (closed in 1999). While the Boston museum focused on how a computer works, the Mountain View museum focuses on the history and the people of computing. Which, as you can see from the titles of both museums, is a conscious difference of focus.
That particular day I visited the History Museum, a demonstration of the PDP-1 was being held twice that day. I admit that while I knew this was an important device, I was murky at the time as to its exact history. Going to the demonstration made me hurt myself for forgetting. The PDP-1 was the first ‘personal’ computer in the sense that one person could operate the machine rather than a team of computer engineers. This paved the way for the MIT Tech Model Railroad Club to make key software in computer history, including Spacewar!
I have some news that some of you have probably not been looking forward to. GameTap has decided to discontinue the operation of Myst Online: Uru Live.
< SNIP >
Ricardo Sanchez VP of Content and Creative Director for GameTap
I’m upset that the eight year journey has come to a close, but I also think that it’s time for the experiment to come to a rest. Uru was a needed and welcomed experiment in a MMO based narrative, not on combat. The goal was not to level up or defeat the baddie with spells and swords, but to progress and the story line. From this, a very strong and tight-nit group believed intensely in the project and the community they built.
“Funds for this game were provided by The Corporation for Public Gaming.”
When television and radio started, different countries took different choices in how the airwaves would be regulated. In England, taxes are levied on all radios and television sets to fund programming. Some countries have all media run directly by the state. In the US, a free market economy was formulated to let market take charge of content generation; A commercial system. But with the commercial system, there was a call for providing content that wasn’t commercially sustainable but culturally important. Content of instructional, educational, and cultural significance that it’s commercially viable but very important. The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 among others did this for television and radio in the United States. I want to have an additional organization for electronic entertainment media.
There’s something that I find funny about a list of ‘game innovations.’ Are we talking technical innovations or creative design innovations? And is there really a difference to begin with? Or should we even care about innovations?
Case in discussion point: Top 10 Game Innovations 2007 by James Portnow on Next Generation. Right point 10, Mr. Portnow seems to describe his own short comings on the topic by not having the language to describe fl0w by thatgamecompany.