The Network is the Game: Social Trends in Mobile Entertainment.

   Amy Jo 'AJ' Kim - Principal, SocialDesigner.Net

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 1, 2004

Presentation slides on line.

Cellphones and game machines are on a collision course. Game developers know how to create entertainment for consoles and PCs -- but what happens when the game machine is a near-ubiquitous, inherently social device that transcends class and gender boundaries? What kinds of mobile entertainment experiences will be compelling to people who've grown up with cellphones, and are accustomed to texting, picture-sharing, talking, and downloading -- as well as gaming?

To create great mobile games, we need to understand how people use cellphones, and what role 'mobile relationships' play in their lives. In this short talk, Amy Jo Kim provides an overview of the most recent ethnographic research into mobile useage patterns and emergent social phenomena, and demonstrate how fast-growing mobile services like UPOC and ImaHima are riding this wave by helping phone users maintain and grow their social networks. The talk concludes with a summary of the key social trends that are important for mobile game developers to pay attention to.

Amy Jo Kim is an internationally-recognized designer of online social environments. She's the Creative Director at SocialDesigner.Net, a consultancy specializing in innovative online products and services. Her clients include AOL, AT&T, the BBC, Digital Chocolate, Electronic Arts, eBay, and Square/Enix. She was also VP of Social Architecture at There Inc, a virtual worlds platform and services company, and Producer/Designer for Paramount's Advanced Product Design lab, where she developed online service design concepts and prototypes for MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Studios. Prior to that she was a geek, she developed multimedia database software and interfaces for Sun Microsystems and NASA-Ames, and designed signal-processing software for neorophysiology experiments.

AJ is best-known as the author of Community Building on the Web, a collection of design guidelines for building online communities that's available in 7 languages (English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese) and has become required reading in game design studios and univerisites. She has a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Washington, and a BS in Experimental Psych from UC San Diego. AJ live near the Pacific Ocean in beautiful El Granada with her husband and son.


View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

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