Ready Player One

I recently had the chance to read the book Ready Player One (to see what it is about please read the synopsis below). This is a great book for use in gaming and educational classrooms. I will more than likely be incorporating it into my Gaming and Simulation class. The books does a great job of predicting what our world might look like in years to come. While a fiction book the idea behind VR technology and its role in our lives and internet may not be far off. In fact, as the technology progresses I believe its pretty spot on. So I definitely recommend this text to anyone interested in gaming, instructional technology, or in need a fun book to read. I also love all of the 80s references as I grew up in the 80s and loved reading about games like Joust and Adventure – 2 of my favorites from Atari. You can read more about the book here: http://readyplayerone.com/

Book synopsis:

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. 

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.   

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. 

A world at stake.

A quest for the ultimate prize.

Are you ready?

eSports: Gaming to pay the rent

Here is a really interesting article on mashable about esports: http://mashable.com/2014/10/07/gaming-to-pay-the-rent/

“Robert Lee sat down with his parents over dinner at a favorite Chinese restaurant to break the news: He decided to drop out of college after one year at California State University in Fullerton to pursue a career as a professional video game player.

Lee had started to make more than a little money broadcasting his gameplay on Twitch while commuting to school three days a week. He wanted to make that a full-time job.

“The way I saw it, school was always going to be there, but this opportunity to make money playing video games was not always going to be there,” he says.

Almost three years later, Lee is a pro League of Legends player, earning a salary that pays enough to cover rent, clothes, food and a couple luxuries, he says, though he declined to provide a figure. That’s in addition to the millions of dollars in prize money that his team, compLexity, is competing for at tournaments around the world.” If you follow the league of legends championship and want to bet on your favorite team click here for lol betting.

Microsoft buy Minecraft

Yes the rumors have finally been confirmed. MS has bought Mojang for 2.5 billion. What are my thoughts on this? Well I think MS is doing a lot of cool things so I am excited. Actually not much in minecraft will really change. Skype hasn’t really changed much imo since MS acquired them several years ago.

 

Source: http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/15/technology/minecraft-microsoft/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Net Neutrality

What is in simple terms:

“Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online.

Net Neutrality means that the cable/telecom companies must provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company cannot decide who you could call and what you say on that call, your ISP should not be concerned with what content you view or post online.

Net Neutrality is what enables the Internet to be such a hotbed for innovation. If you bring a new service online, the cable/telecom companies should deliver it just like they’d deliver content from a corporate behemoth like Google or NBC.

Net Neutrality is what gives every startup the same chance to reach customers and users as any existing company. Simply, without Net Neutrality, startups and small business will be subject to discrimination based on a pay-to-play Internet, and the open Internet and the economic growth it has represented will be at risk.”

to support and learn more:

Source: https://www.battleforthenet.com/

Instructional strategies by training type

Here is a chart I have made which highlights the ease at which it is to implement strategies by training type. This is a very good starting point when considering an instructional strategy once you know what kind of training a client wants. While I probably can do any strategy in any environment if I am creative enough, its not always plausible. Thus when someone tells me they want CBT training I know that direct instructional strategies are more than likely the best method.

›Instructor led: 1 – Direct, 1 – Indirect, 1 – Experiential

›Online: 1 – Direct, 2 – Indirect, 3 – Exp

›Virtual:1 – Direct,1 – Indirect, 1 – Exp

›CBI/CBT: 1 – Direct, 3 – Indirect, 3 – Exp

›Simulation: 1 – Direct, 1 – Indirect, 1 – Exp

1 = Easy, 2 = medium, 3 = Most difficult

*note that given the technology and capabilities of your team and technology, these could all be different for you. For example in the Online section, Indirect heavily depends on the LMS type and capabilities – it could very easily be a ‘1’.

 

Guidelines for interface design

*Note 1 – these are general guidelines that need to be modified for each project and media type.
*Note 2 – –I would first consider: Users,  Context, Technology, Goals/objectives,  Task Analysis
*Note 3 – –These would be examined in order to start creating a design that is usable (usability), and then I would evaluate my prototypes using heurisitc, pluralistic, style, and cognitive walkthrough

1. –Simple and natural dialogue

1.1.     Speak the users’ language

2. –Minimize cognitive load

2.1.    Miller 1956 – 7 Concepts (+/- 2)

3. –Multimedia principles

3.1.    Images and text that explain for one another

3.2.    No extra details – only what is required; no unnecessary images

3.3.    Highlight important information

3.4.    No busy screens/backgrounds/fonts

3.5.    Fitt’s law

4. –Be consistent

5. Colors/fonts/layout – across the site/app

5.1 Colors – 2-4; fonts – legible; layout – Grid and organized

6. Follow current font, color, layout trends

7. –Provide feedback

8. Provide clearly marked exits

9. –Provide shortcuts

9.1.    Breadcrumbs

10. Deal with errors in positive and helpful manner

11. Develop for the output technology – resolution, colors, golden ratio/rectangle

12. –Rule of thirds

13. Provide help and documentation

13.1.Site map

14. –User friendly layout

14.1.Buttons/links easy to find/use

14.2.This will vary based on audience and objectives

14.3.Color, fonts, layout, sizes