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Mar 02, 2011



Do you know if audio/video of sessions will be available after the conference is over?


They are available but it costs $$.


Ted>Most exciting to me is evidence that companies are using shards to do experiments.

Is this the sort of thing that an academic would need Institutional Review Board approval for before they did it?





For a few years I've heard 'social game' companies say the that staff they are most looking for a stats gurus. As a data point Michael Smith of Mindcandy has a great presentation on Moshi Monsters including stuff on how the changed the sign up page: colour, images, and option pricing structure - and how these made a HUGE change in sign-ups. It's interesting how pricing theory is becoming quick big these days see cholas Lovell: http://www.gamesbrief.com/ for some interesting thoughts the subject.


Yeah this game telemetry stuff is making me rethink what I am doing at the PhD level. These guys need PhDs in some kind of tough social science field, and they need games expertise too. What program provides that? None that I know of. "What's the impact on price level of a 10% increase in the virtual currency faucet? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?"


Or, for that matter, "What is the impact of a 1% increase in the price of currency 1 on the demand for currency 2?" For social gaming companies, especially those with multiple properties that could cannibalize one another, this is vital information. For Zynga, this could be: Farm Cash vs. Farm Coins, Farm Cash vs. City Cash, and then City Cash Vs. Gold/Silver Bars (Playdom's City of Wonder).

This would also apply to the development of an RMT policy. "What is the impact on sanctioned currency sales of of a 10% increase in the in-world price level?" and vice versa.


Ted>These guys need PhDs in some kind of tough social science field, and they need games expertise too. What program provides that?

I believe that Eyj├│lfur Gu├░mundsson, CCP's resident economist, is about to start teaching a class on the socio-economics of virtual worlds that will cover this kind of thing. It's at an Icelandic university. I don't know which university, nor whether the class is at undergraduate or postgraduate level, though.



Here's the dilemma. To do this right, you need a deep and thorough training in the methods of data analysis. Unfortunately, macro statistics finds itself in crisis these last 20 years. Macroeconomics has nothing to say about the current recession; how could it possibly speak to the floatation of the gold piece? I do not know how we will provide the needed cohorts of game telemtricians. It requires more than a class yet bears more importance than the study of diplomacy after the Peace of Westphalia. I am concerned.


So we're launching our commercial effort in this space right now, and there are indeed some pretty cool applications possible. I wasn't sure if I should blog about it here as it's somewhat self-promotional, but also has some nifty science. Ted (and others), if you think it's worthy, I'll put it all up. We've invented gizmos that I think could have a real impact on the industry, and then in other sectors.


Of course you should blog this! As if Terra Nova blushes at

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