Recently I posted about the Canadian military using virtual reality to treat PTSD, and with that in mind I think it’s time to take a look at the idea that video games are used as training and propaganda tools.
A few months ago an article in the Guardian looked at using video games as propaganda and they looked closely at Kuma Games. Kuma is best known for their game Kuma\War games that take recent battles from headlines and lets players re-enact them in the game itself.
It turns out that Kuma may have received financing from the CIA to produce propaganda games (of course there’s no direct proof – yet). This revelation came out because Iran accused a game developer of aiding the enemy and sentenced him to death. The case has since been overturned and will likely be reassessed.
Kuma aside, we cannot ignore official government-sanctioned efforts like America’s Army which is considered soft propaganda like the movie Top Gun. There are other examples covered in the article that are worth looking at too.
If people think that a video game is anything close to the monotony of actual military service they have another thing coming.
I’ll leave you with this:
May 25th, 2012 by Adam
You’ve probably already heard of this site, but in case you haven’t, Did You Know Gaming is a blog of images dedicated to miscellaneous and obscure facts about games. The topics covered range from nifty Easter eggs to totally inane.
May 24th, 2012 by Adam
App Promo surveyed iOS developers and got some interesting results. The most staggering number from the survey is that 60% of apps don’t generate enough revenue to break even. Take a look (click to enlarge):
The key thing to note for aspiring developers is the importance of marketing an iOS app. Without promotional support for your app don’t expect anything close to success and don’t think you can rely on using free social media either.
As with most tech news, Ars has a good analysis of App Promo’s research with interviews with some developers. They look at the difficulty of even getting an app discovered (this is an ongoing problem with the App Store and Apple knows it) to the costs of developing the app and where the money can be made making iOS apps.
May 24th, 2012 by Adam
“Development costs are generally much higher than folks realize,” Kafasis said. “Making an app still requires tens of thousands of dollars in development, if not hundreds of thousands. Recouping that kind of money 99 cents—or really, 70 cents—at a time is not easy.”
Part of the problem can be attributed to consumer expectations. Whereas $20-30 was not an uncommon price for desktop software created by small developers in the past, the App Store quickly led consumers to expect to pay 99 cents, or maybe $1.99 for most mobile apps. Many more are free, supported with in-app ads or “freemium” in-app purchases.
“Paid apps, despite likely being only $1, is a surprisingly high barrier of entry,” McCarron told Ars
This is an informative and inspiring speech from Neil Gaiman, who is a fantastic and knowledgeable author. If you consider yourself an artist of any kind you need to watch this.
May 23rd, 2012 by Adam
Gamification is everywhere and it’s getting more entangled in everyday activities (even in places that I feel will do more harm than good, but that’s a different post). Not too long ago I was engaged in a project that focused on bringing the core ideas of gaming into the social web. This is gamification in action.
Looking into the world of games and online social interaction brought forth a bunch of content management systems (CMS) that reward people’s use of a website using gamification. All of the companies below look to be focused on two things: turning site visitors into consumers and for internal company use to help HR.
Here’s a roundup of gamified CMS:
Founded in 2010 and they seem to be getting a lot of big corporate clients, their analytics programs look to be the most well-rounded of these CMS.
Arguably the first on the gamified CMS bandwagon they use a backbone called Nitro that can be plugged into an existing site.
If you’re running a smaller website and want to bring gamificaion into it then of all the CMS listed here, you should definitely check out BigDoor. They’re focused on making gamification more accessible to smaller companies.
This company came up a lot in my research and to me they don’t seem to be all that great (I can’t name what it is exactly but they come across as not that legit).
You can use these gamification CMS for more than just projects driven for profit, indeed MeYou Health is an online community filled with social well being challenges.
Kiip is not a CMS but is related to some of the ideas brought forth by the companies listed above, they give out points for playing games on your mobile. With these Kiip points people can then get free tea-world things:
Kiip: An Introduction from kiip on Vimeo.
May 23rd, 2012 by Adam