PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 28/05/2011

MMOWGLI almost ready to sail

An email from the MMOWGLI team went out today to those who have signed up for the forthcoming playtest, indicating that the Office of Naval Research’s experimental crowd sourcing/simulation experiment will launch next week:

Dear mmowgli player,

Thank you for your interest in mmowgli-a groundbreaking experiment in collective intelligence. You’re officially on our team of pioneers and early adopters as the first people to see mmowgli in action.

mmowgli officially launches next week with a lightning round of fast-paced gameplay.

What will YOU do to turn the tide of Somali piracy? Contribute as much as you can, but of course the more you play, the more you can change-and win-the game.

Watch your email early next week for the exclusive launch time and online invitation.

With best regards,

The mmowgli Team

Public playtesting had been delayed by the sheer number of people who had signed up to participate—more than 14,000 at last count. Indicative of the public attention all this has received, Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, the Chief of Naval Research, was on MSNBC yesterday to discuss the launch.

In fact, the Moves Institute at the Naval Postgraduate School is currently running a pre-public playtest of MMOWGLI at the moment. The game’s interface is a refreshingly clear and intuitive one, and the feedback and scoring system is designed to reward the most stimulating contributions (although whether those turn out to be the most thoughtful ones remains to be seen). The first stage of the game is all about generating short, tweet-sized micro ideas:

In later stages of the game, players will develop more detailed action plans, which other players can rate and comment upon. These too will be scored. Throughout, the game moderators have the capability of issuing rewards for particularly good ideas, which should help with quality control.

There’s also a leader board that allows you to monitor other player’s scores. There’s a risk that it might generate metagaming, however—not collaborating with a rival because you might push up his/her points total?

The biggest challenge, however, will be handling the potential traffic on the server. I don’t think any of the IT folks will be getting much sleep the day it launches publicly…

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