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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Play and Socialize with People Interested in eLearning

I'm co-founder and CTO of a new start-up, Fantasy World, that creates fun, online games that allow groups of people to have fun, win prizes, play-along with celebrities, and most of all to socialize outside the normal context of the group. It's backed by a major entertainment company and my co-founder comes from the fantasy sports space.

Our first game has just launched, Survivor Football '09.

If you like American rules football (sorry this is not soccer), and you would enjoy socializing with a group of people who read this blog, please sign-up and join the Fight Club that is called - the eLearning Fun Club. I'd especially welcome any of you who can help us make better picks during the season, i.e., actually have some knowledge of Fantasy Football. I'm a fan, but have never done fantasy football before. Luckily the game is pretty simple, but still helpful to have a couple of ringers in our fight club to help us out.

Here's a video that explains a bit more about the game:

When you join, make sure you select the eLearning Fun Club as your fight club. That's where we will be hanging out. In addition to Fight Clubs, there are prizes. You can choose the prize you want at any time prior to the start - Week 2 kick-off.

Some of the other fight clubs are offering prizes in addition to the prize that you play for. I don't specifically have a prize in mind for the winner of the fight club yet.

Any ideas on what we could give? Maybe a copy of some books from authors who read this (and would want to play)? Maybe something from one of the vendors who reads this?

More generally, I believe that this represents something we will see more of in the future. Interesting ways to socialize that is outside the original venue and how we are used to socializing. I'm curious what Nancy White might have to say about this kind of thing. But that's likely another whole series of blog posts.


Nancy White said...

Oh, Tony, I'm going to disappoint you because you used two memes that don't resonate for me. Not only do they NOT resonate, but they are turn offs: "fight" and "sports." (My dear husband works for a University athletic department and I even turn down all the free event tickets. I'm a total stick in the mud.)

I know, I know... there is a gender thing here that complicates the idea about games, socializing, collaborating and learning. I have followed the work of Amy Jo Kim around games and collaboration and you don't have to convince me. It's just that your sample is such a "boy" think from my perspective.

Does this go to some essential nature about how we have been socialized by gender stereotypes as to how we socialize?

Does this relate to the thread that came out of the Vancouver BC Open Ed Conference about the boys club atmosphere experienced by some?

Now, to be totally a bore, what about a chocolate tasting game. Or a travel game (where in the world?) Or a bird identification game, plant ID, weird facts, TV trivia, language trivia?


Nanc y

(P.S. I'm not saying women don't like sports or fights. I'm just saying I don't but I also recognize there are gender stereotypes at play!)

Tony Karrer said...

Nancy - first - that's a bit scary. I didn't even include a link to you and yet you found this! Impressive. Or possibly a bit scary.

I agree that this will only appeal to some people - those who like football mostly. And I believe there's something about differences in how males communicate - preferring to talk while the do something else (play pool, watch a game, BBQ food). So, I'm not sure if this will also be more male because of it.

That said, I think there's this interesting opportunity to socialize outside the normal setting and way, even in a virtual setting.

How about if we organize a virtual chocolate tasting party? I've actually talked to someone at length about doing other kinds of virtual tasting parties. (I hate to say, but I'm not a huge chocolate fan.)

Still the idea that we can get together when the explicit purpose is something other than the core reason that we originally gathered is interesting. It's not something I normally think about, but it's something I would welcome.

I put your name in because I'm assuming this is being done in lots of ways out there and likely has been done in lots of ways without technology. For example, we all go out to dinner or to a performance while at a conference. So, was wondering what is known about these kinds of things.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Tēnā korua Tony & Nancy!

I have to come clean here. In part I agree with Nancy.

But . . .

For a number of decades, the affirmative action taken by education authorities in New Zealand to encourage girls, especially in Science and Mathematics, has now come home to roost.

It is no longer a myth that girls are excelling with the current system so much so that in Science, they collect nearly all the scholarships and top study awards. This was not the case in the 70s when the affirmative action began.

It is now seen as an educational crisis, close to the concern over Māori students falling behind others in New Zealand in educational achievement.

From the personal aspect of all this, my sons both preferred computer games that were less oriented towards sport, cars or fighting. It was refreshing to see how my younger daughters all linked with their older brothers' preferences as they too were not heavily into sport, cars or fighting. But my youngest daughter, being the only real sports person in the family, does in fact have some sporty ones in her cohort of computer games - most of which are educational.

There is a middle-ground here though, and many games I've looked at offer choices even within the games themselves. I can site Sid Meier's Civilization which is equally popular among my sons and daughters alike. Though the emphasis placed on their approaches to the game are identifiable as gender choices, the game's universal appeal in my family speaks for itself.

Catchya later