AvaDating (Guardian Gamesblog sneak-peek)

Here’s one I’ve written for The Guardian’s gamesblog a couple of weeks from now, but I feel it has particular relevance to two key issues in this blog: the “rise” of the avatar/virtual worlds as a viable interaction format which transcends traditional internet communication limitations (i.e., lack of non-verbal communication) and social network-based interaction. It’s not replicated in full as that would breach my contract with them for originally published material, but here’s the thrust:

The Hook Up: AvaFlirting represents the logical convergence of a number of interests: the rise of avatar-representation, portable social and gaming technologies and social network-based interaction. According to Red Herring, the game will have Tamagotchi-like elements, which should act as non-verbal cues of the users’ intentions and commitment to the concept, providing a heuristic for likely potential partners.In the same way as MySpace promotes friendship brokering via thumbs ups from strangers for similarities and kudos for techno-know-how, the avatar-based system of The Hook Up: AvaFlirting will rely upon both avatar looks/innovation and user personality, and should open up a market for personalisation on a device platform which has already witnessed the rise and rise of irritating ringtones. While avatar personalisation isn’t anything new on the vast Interweb (see StorTroopers and Habbo Hotel and other social virtual worlds for examples), it’s on the cusp in the mobile market…

I’ll link to the published post when it goes up on 24 April.

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~ by aleks on April 11, 2006.

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