Category Archives: Games

Game on: ECA for net neutrality

eca.jpg Good news:
Gamers are, by nature, a more web-savvy lot than the average Internet consumer. As a result, complicated-sounding concepts like “Net Neutrality” tend to be a pretty easy sell to those individuals whose primary means of entertainment is heavily dependent on fast and unfettered Internet access.

Yesterday the Entertainment Consumers’ Association unveiled another new venture into the realm of gamer activism. Following on the success of political action programs such as the Video Game Voters Network, the ECA is hoping to apply a similar formula to the complicated issue of Net Neutrality. The new initiative is called Gamers for Net Neutrality, and its purpose is to provide gamers with the tools necessary to fight the encroaching threat of a micro-monetized and heavily controlled online space.

ECA Launches Gamers for Net Neutrality, New initiative empowers gamers to help keep online traffic regulation-free. By Mark Whiting,, 04/02/2008

This is what it will take to win. We need the FCC to enforce net neutrality. And that will only happen when there’s an administration that will make it do so. And that will only happen if the people vote it in. We need more ISP competitors. And that will only happen as customers demand it. This is the path to net neutrality and Internet freedom.



“The Revolution was effected before the war commenced.
The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people…
This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments,
and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”

John Adams, 1818

Virtual Web, Real World

raphael.raph.koster.jpg Muddying the web:
Raph Koster makes the point that virtual worlds are becoming more and more intertwined with (and perhaps indistinguishable from) the web. Anything with an avatar, a way to have both real-time and not-real-time communication, and some spatial metaphors is both a virtual world and… Facebook.

So here’s a downloadable manuscript called The Web: Hidden Games. It’s not the deepest piece of writing, but it’s an implementation of the Raph idea. The author cheerfully suggests that Facebook, YouTube, and Digg are addictive because they’re really games. They’ve got set rules, they’re fun, and you can try to beat the other guy.

Are you winning at Digg? Susan Crawford, Susan Crawford Blog, 10 Jan 2008

I think this is right, and it’s just an extension of how Mosaic, the original web browser came to be: Marc Andreesen decided to mix computer game interfaces with Internet access.

I don’t think Raph or Susan goes far enough. Continue reading

Communications Monopoly

Adm. Elizabeth A. Hight Here’s what happens when you have a communications monopoly:
The Defense Department isn’t trying to “muzzle” troops by banning YouTube and MySpace on their networks, a top military information technology officer tells DANGER ROOM. Rear Admiral Elizabeth Hight, Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, says that the decision to block access to social networking, video-sharing, and other “recreational” sites is purely at attempt to “preserve military bandwidth for operational missions.”

Computer_center_400x Not that the 11 blocked sites are clogging networks all that much today, she adds. But YouTube, MySpace, and the like “could present a potential problem,” at some point in the future. So the military wanted to “get ahead of the problem before it became a problem.”

Military Defends MySpace Ban (Updated Yet Again), Noah Schachtman, DangerRoom, 18 May 2007

How much bandwidth is it using? We don’t know; the Admiral won’t say.

Now if the U.S. military’s real reason is to keep the troops from posting information that could get some of them killed, I could understand that. But if so, why are they trotting out this lame excuse? And for that matter, why is the U.S. commander in Iraq saying military blogs are providing good accurate descriptions of the situation on the ground? Continue reading