Scaling Games Up

by Daniel H. Steinberg

This week we're talking about games. Big games. Amy Jo Kim talks about taking the lessons from game playing and applying them to your applications. Jane McGonigal talks about scaling up intimate two player games so that thousands of people can thumb wrestle. (DTF 04-18-2006: 27 minutes 49 seconds)

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Distributing the Future April 18, 2006: "Scaling Games Up"

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1:25 Putting the Fun in Functional

Amy Jo Kim has spent a lot of time thinking about online communities. Now she's also turned her attention to what makes games fun and compelling. In this excerpt of her Emerging Technology conference session she points to five mechanics used in games to make their games more compelling and fun. She says that you can use these same techniques in the applications that you are developing. (13:45)

15:10 Super Games

At last autumn's FOO Camp we spoke with Jane McGonigal about some research she's been doing into large public games that she calls super games. In this portion of the interview she defines the term and explains how these games differ from experiments or performances. You can read more about Jane on her Avant Game website. She's also blogging her dissertation on The Best Sentence of the Day. (11:55)

Total running time: 27:49

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Production Notes

The initial montage is from Tim O'Reilly, recorded at OSCON '04 and in a phone interview with Doug Kaye of IT Conversations, and is used with permission. "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet" is a quote from author William Gibson that Tim used with attribution.

The credits, including special thanks to David Battino for composing and performing the theme music. David can be found at and also edits O'Reilly's Digital Audio site. David provided a lot of help and feedback getting this program launched. We used Soundtrack Pro, Bias Peak, and Audio Hijack Pro to put it together.

Daniel H. Steinberg is the editor for the new series of Mac Developer titles for the Pragmatic Programmers. He writes feature articles for Apple's ADC web site and is a regular contributor to Mac Devcenter. He has presented at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, MacWorld, MacHack and other Mac developer conferences.

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