Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The currency of online social networks, and the new evolutionary paradigm

You should definitely read this post from Daniel James, on Penny Arcade news. He is the CEO of Three Rings, the company that brought us the highly popular Puzzle Pirates online puzzle game.

Daniel touches a good number of points regarding what I personally call "the new evolutionary paradigm of the internet." Here is a small taste if you are not yet convinced that you should read it:

"The cheddary 'Free to Play' is not just a cheesy marketing slogan, but a shift in assumptions; it costs approaching nothing to give away some bits, or let people play Puzzle Pirates for free. Every player, free or paid, adds value to the community and excitement for other players. Free players are the content, context and society that encourages a small fraction of the audience to willingly pay more than enough to subsidize the rest."
It is a proof of concept for a business model that uses a currency most unimaginable for the traditional business mind: love.

I may be getting ahead of myself here, but this has reminded me of my favourite scene from the movie The Waking Life. In the below scene Dr. Eamonn F. Healy discusses his prediction of a radical shift in human evolution in a very near future, a point of singularity if you will. The traditional evolutionary paradigm that is based on war, predation, and survival will be replaced, he claims, by a new paradigm that is based on neo-human values of freedom, justice, loyalty, and -I would add to the list- love.

Daniel James' post made me wonder if the success of his game could be a manifestation or a sign of this impending revolution. Another obvious example is Google and the value of transparency.

Unlikely, you say? Here is another question then: what has been the mankind's most constant demand throughout history, if not a better world?

I have to admit that I may be predisposed to optimism in this. Still, it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to think the interwebs might be channeling the collective will of mankind to tell the evolution itself, the most powerful force of nature, what really matters.

1 comment:

Kayo said...

Hmmmm... it sounds to me like exploitation of love. Do marketers really care about the evolution of mankind, or are they mostly interested in making money (and masking it behind a noble cause)? What is love anyway? By giving users control? By letting them create their universe?

Speaking of interwebs... here is an interesting Wikipeida article I found... I mean, it IS Wikipeida, but it seems kind of ironic how it's defining the term: