A shout-out this morning to Lee Wilson who covered last week’s Austin Game Develpers Conference so well on his Education Business Blog. In Video Games, Virtual Worlds, and Education Publishing Lee covers several keynotes including one from Raph Koster, President of Areae:
The parallels between how the web is changing the game industry and the world of education publishing are fascinating. Because of the inherent lag in the education market we can learn a lot from how gaming companies are adapting to the web’s incursion into their business. Raph Koster, President of Areae, started [his presentation] by pointing out that 7 of the 8 largest MMOs are web based and that they have millions of monthly users. His message to the game developers was that by their standards the web based MMOs have horrible interfaces and very low production values. Game developers need to break out of their paradigms and start thinking of games that can be separated from their interface and design and still be compelling. Water dripping from your sword in foggy moonlight is cool, but it isn’t the game. Can you play on a phone? Can you play it on your TV? Could you play it on paper? Can you interface to the game from your GPS? The customers are already going there, better follow!
Lee’s earlier posts on the Austin Game Developers Conference (http://tinyurl.com/2po6ba and http://tinyurl.com/35awcg) include coverage of Blizzard Entertainment’s Mike Morhaime and the observation that
Blizzard matters to education because when you strip away the Orcs and Elves under the hood they have built an extremely elegant learning management system. As the undisputed world wide leader in the MMO space we have a lot to learn from their approach to building products and structuring their business.
For more coverage of Austin GDC and the overall business of educational technology, visit the Education Business Blog’s Serious Games category. Lee is a prolific blogger and has sharp insights into the convergence of educational publishing, technology and virtual worlds.