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Passively Multiplayer Gaming 72

errorjustin writes "In a recent Mobile Games Conference keynote speech, Justin Hall had the audience imagine their life as a videogame: 'You gain 'experience points' by using MSWord or by sending emails. Every item you cross off a 'to do' list gives you an experience bonus, until eventually you 'level up' your life. You become U+1.' So what can be done with all this user-generated data? That's where the idea gets exciting: 'Imagine a mobile game that alerts you that a bomb is going to go off in 24 hours. To defuse it you need to assemble 16 levels of chemistry expertise, and 22 levels of physics expertise. The friends on your friends list all have levels for both skills - levels that have been determined by their real-life expertise and activities. You'll need to pull enough people together, either friends or friends of friends, to defuse the bomb.'" Would certainly make your average Monday a little easier to handle. The winner of this year's Game Design Challenge had an interesting idea that was somewhat similar.
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Passively Multiplayer Gaming

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  • Of course there would be some people who would end up having grossly more experience points than they really should have. You know who I'm talking about.
  • correction (Score:5, Funny)

    by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @12:58PM (#15758001) Journal
    You gain 'experience points' by using MSWord

    Actually, I think that action just abuses wisdom and intelligence.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:01PM (#15758022)
    "I'ma tenth level vice president!"

    Wonder though if it's good for anything...
  • by justkarl ( 775856 )
    ME? I level up every time I fix someone's computer and close a help desk ticket.
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:04PM (#15758063) Homepage Journal
    I've a 5th level vegan. I don't eat anything that casts a shadow.
  • Farming (Score:3, Funny)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:05PM (#15758068)
    I get dibs on the coffee farming.
  • by rRaminrodt ( 250095 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:06PM (#15758076) Homepage Journal
    If MS Word counts for something, does compiling stuff count towards my software skill?

    And therefore using Gentoo is like running a bot? I don't want to get kicked out of life for cheating.

    (I really do use gentoo... I'm emerging something right now.)
  • Hey thats MY game (Score:5, Informative)

    by cliffski ( 65094 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:08PM (#15758100) Homepage
    Didn't I just DO this? ---> []
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:09PM (#15758110)
    > Every item you cross off a 'to do' list gives you an experience bonus, until eventually you 'level up' your life.

    Played this game once. Problem is, it's like the Sims in boringness, but the time-acceleration key can only be used once a day, and the stupid devs made it so that the time-speedup key only works at night, when you're at home trying to game, rather than you just during the day when nobody's home! What fucktard thought that was a good UI?

    But the real dealbreaker is the lack of save/restore. Spend six weeks setting up a menage-a-trois with your boss' wife and just one lousy goat, and you might as well pull out the old .45 and reroll your character.

    Passively Multiplayer Life is teh sux0r. I wouldn't even warez it. (Anyone have a patch to get the smell of goat outa my clothes? The NPC vendor won't even look at me when I try to buy ammo.)

  • Related to the topic: [] is a related passive multiplayer game. As reported in BoingBoing [].

    It would be interesting to try Bud out, but last I looked on their site they had presentations and description of the idea, but the game was not online yet.
  • I have my birthday next month, so I plan on using my xp to level up on "Self Control" (not hitting the kids), "Basic Foraging" (getting take-out), and "Charisma (Carpenter, yum.)"

    I will also get a +3 Mortgage of Death, +2 Job of Despair and +5 Flowers of Forgiveness (always handy after a night out).
  • Gee I'm not sure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zoloback ( 785676 )
    This is a very personal POV.
    When I play a Game, I want to be doing something else for a while, like, not working. I play games for the purpose of entertainment, but not to the extreme that the author proposes.
    That said, I can easily see how many gamers out there could have a wet dream about a totally submersive game experience, and with the utmost respect I must decline on such a life.
    My Life is a considerably full one and I enjoy a lot of it, but I honestly don't want to be in the middle of a meeting an
  • Gamers play games to get away from real life. Real life sucks. You get cancer, you don't get a do-over. Dropped out of school? Sure you can go back but not as easily as some dork out of highschool can. Knocked up your mistress? Good luck with that one. Whereas video games... you don't down Onyxia, you can try again. And again. And again (more dots! more dots! throw more dots!! fifty DKP minus!!).

    Besides, what good will a 2nd level burger flipper do to stop a bomb? Does this guy even know the primary market
  • Imagine a mobile game that alerts you that a bomb is going to go off in 24 hours.

    Summon Intern!
  • If anyone ever needs 22 levels of 'slacking off', let me know... I think I got that level covered ;)
  • by 93,000 ( 150453 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:42PM (#15758390)
    You find out about a new pron torrent to be available in 24 hours. You immediatly notify your group of friends, all of whom are 15th level masterbators . . .
  • I'm going to drop my career and social life so I can minmax on pointless TV trivia!
  • I read this web comic []
    One of the main characters comes from Mars and the folks on Mars developed a group mind. The way it works sounds similiar to this, but on a much larger scale and seemlessly for any request. Say you wanted to cook supper and looked in your cabinet and couldn't think of anything. You'd briefly access the group mind, which would instantly send your supplies, about how long your want to cook it for, your personnal favoriate dishes, and your personnal
  • Does anybody know whether death is XP debt or XP loss. I hate
    XP loss. I earned those levels so if I die I just want to have to re-earn
    the XP.

          Also will there be a wispy thing when you corpse run or do we just
    get to rez with all our stuff ? What if you're a Hindu ?

  • Is it just me or is anyone else wondering if these people get paid to be stupid?

    We play games because they're funn, filling out form 54B is NOT fun and hence we do it purely so we can eat. This is the same logic that things playing some dumbass kids game with your work mates will make the work place happier, when in truth if they gave you the day off and let you get some rest it would have 10 times the effect.
    • There's another quote from the article that really stood out to me: "When a friend has relationship problems they know they can call me. Financial problems? They better call someone else," Hall explained. "This game is how we learn that we can aggregate our friends to solve the real problems in our life, and not just the fictional ones." Very cool. Maybe some in-game problems WOULD require burger-flipping, introverted nerd skills. While others would require folks with leadership skills. Maybe boss battles
      • Maybe some in-game problems WOULD require burger-flipping, introverted nerd skills. While others would require folks with leadership skills. Maybe boss battles would require both :) It's an exciting concept, and brings a whole new meaning to "the game of life"

        Unfortunately the loot tables suck, the final boss' only contains:
        +5 Shirt of "I killed the Pointy Haired Boss, and all I got was this stupid T-shirt"
        +1 Two Handed Sword (I mean it's a sword with two hands) [requires level 42 Monk]
        15 x Crystal Water

    • I think the idea is that you have to fill out form 54B anyway, so why not get a little something for playtime?
      I know, the idea is fricken dumb.
    • Sounds like my time in the Army. "Mandatory fun" is never fun, because it's FUCKING MANDATORY!
  • Or.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:10PM (#15758643) Journal
    Or, if we're talking Real Life (tm) 2006...

    "'Imagine a mobile game that alerts you that a bomb is going to go off in 24 hours."

    Imagine the consequences, you're sitting in an airline passenger lounge, & your cell phone bleeps it has a message. You pop it open and a flashing red popup tells you there is a BOMB times to go off in 24:00:00 and it starts counting down!

    The adventure forks at this point - either into an 'action adventure' or a 'low key suspenseful thriller':

    1) Mrs Johnson, sitting beside you, happens to see it and starts screaming. You've just aggro'd the whole airport full of security and police.
    2) Mr Parker, on the other side, happens to see it and quietly mentions you to the gate agent, who has a halfdozen massive dudes in dark suits and glasses appear out of nowhere to quietly 'suggest' you come along with them.

    Either way, AT BEST you end up strapped down spread-eagle on an examining table while the FBI crams a camera up your butt looking for proof you're a terrorist. FUN!

    "Sent to Gitmo" : +5 xp!
  • oh no... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ant P. ( 974313 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:14PM (#15758673) Homepage
    Obligatory link []
  • by g_adams27 ( 581237 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:18PM (#15758706)
    Try Progress Quest! [] Just download it, run it, and let it start leveling you up while you get on with your life. Why spend time grinding? Let Progress Quest do all the heavy-lifting for you! (and medium- and light-lifting, and everything else for that matter.)
  • Well, my boss does drabble on like a questgiver in an RPG and does tend to repeat himself alot. Only problem is my coworkers are plagued by incredibly poor AI and pathfinding ability. That and my resolution sucks unless I remember to wear my glasses.

    I do wish I could put a box over my head and disappear like Solid Snake...

    Level 29 MiddleManager/Husband/Father (yes, I know that multiclassing hurts my experience totals!)
    • I'm going to assume that you're human, so you can choose one of those classes as your preferred. I suggest 'husband', because that gives you a reaction bonus with your pairbound character. Beyond that... yeah, the third class is definitely going to be hurting your XP rate.

      Get rid of the 'father' class. Kids are the worst kind of follower you can have until you're in your mid fifties to early sixties, since they eat all of your earned loot until they're around level 18 (or longer, if they take the hikikom []

  • "Level 42 Epic Programmer"
  • The only problem with imagining thy life as a game is that there are suddenly no real challenges - only game challenges. This is why this approach is severely limited. Still, it's sometimes useful - in psych. self-help studies, for instance. _______________________ No mod points in this thread
  • Some years ago, when I was a lot into tabletop RPGs, I developed a strange habit of learning many different game rules and then trying to fill a character sheets for that game that was the most similar to the real me. Of course all those "me" characters sucked badly, but it was fun nevertheless.

    Nowadays this isn't so easy. D20, for instance, removed the usefull descriptions earlier games had on what having a level "x" in this or that skill would meant in real life. The only thing you know is that, say, some
  • Yeah - fear my +5 M Sword!

    Seeing as we now live in a world of virtual machines (z/VM, VMware, et al) and a world manipulated by raising tickets, maybe we should go the whole hog and just run our companies via a MMORPG - with a live link to the stock price!

    Certainly my job feels like a computer game sometimes... :P

  • getting to do a Final Fantasy-esque level up dance when you turn your reports in on time at the office. Now all I need is to get the level up music set as my cellphone ringtone, then I can level up each time I take a call!
  • This has been done before, with the best game ever - FREEBASE! []

    For you fans of Hol :)

  • So this game is like everyday work, except with an imaginary goal.

    Wait, how is this game different from everyday work?

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin