Friday, 9 November 2007

Ideas: Gaming in a Web 2-point-O Land

I mostly hate the term "web 2.0" as I think it tries to encapsulate something - an idea, a trend - when all the best ideas come out of not being constrained in such ways. Still, it has some merit, so I continue to use it to refer to "modern" web services that focus less on websites and more on content: information, users.

With that in mind, and knowing that the likelihood of me actually getting round to doing either of the following for a while, here's 2 suggestions for stirring things up a little in modern "games":

1. An API for Wii Miis. Currently you can create your own Mii - an avatar for yourself, as a player - using a Wii, and then use that avatar in games that support it. You can also travel around via the Internet, or via a Wiimote, to other people's Wiis. Looks like you can also edit Miis on the web by loading and saving extracted binary files.

Why not skip this middle man (XML files and Flash editors), and open up Mii characters to all kinds of services via a standard API? In the beginning, it may make sense to limit it to read-only, but all of a sudden the Mii becomes not just a Wii thing, but an avatar for all occasions.

2. Twitter-based gaming. Hey, it's being used to keep track of who owes who beer, as well as for storytelling, so why not some simple games that are less "intrusive" (e.g. do one thing per hour, or per day, by sending a text) or take mobile interactivity into account (e.g. enter the code at a certain place).

This was kind of inspired by news of mobile gaming in the West taking a beating. Video is touted as what people really want, but if you look at it, people are quite happy with voice and texts. Twitter does texts for free, and provides a handy API for tying it into lots of lovely custom functionality, so why not use that as a platform for entertainment? (See also Boxr (and previous post on it) which seems to have its own own Twitter feed too.)

So there you go, 2 things that could be fun. Make it so.

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