The game is afoot. It's also an IA goldmine.

I signed up for a free login to Gamasutra, and probably should’ve long ago. I’ve been chewing on a bone lately that I keep tripping over and have been for years: that multiplayer games are the purest essence we have of multi-user environments, and that if we watch how problems are solved and conventions are evolved in that realm, we’ll have a better idea of what to expect in the more quotidian worlds of business and community. This Masters Thesis (is it not unbelievably cool that there is a phat gaming site out there that publishes dissertations and theses???) is about collaboration in computer-based communities, and how ‘trust’ enters into the equation. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I have enough of a taste to know this is something I want to share. If you want to read it, you just have to do a very quick and easy signup form, and you can read all the content on the site that you want for free, as far as I can tell. Here’s the article, and a quote follows:
Gamasutra – Masters Thesis: The Architechtures of Trust: Supporting Cooperation in the Computer-Supported Community

This thesis centers on the necessary design conditions for computer-supported cooperation. Social issues pertaining to online interaction are analysed on the basis of existing sociological theory with the specific aim of determining if there are analytically important differences between interaction in offline and online settings. This leads to a description of how knowledge of online dynamics may be used to further cooperation and trust in collaborative computing.

Author: Andrew Hinton

I use information to architect better places for humans. More at

3 thoughts on “The game is afoot. It's also an IA goldmine.”

  1. You want online human interaction? I have the Sims Online playtest. Quite the time-eater…

    You can still get a free CD or download.

  2. It’s not just the virtual world that’s small.
    This guy is a graduate from the same institute that I graduated from. I’m in IAfIA and have a background in Computer Games research.
    Jonas is in Computer Games research ( and he has a website
    take a look at it.

    I’ve got to blog about how games, dramaturgy and storytelling can teach Information Architecture a trick or two.


  3. Gunnar: I think a lot of fields have a lot to teach IA, especially since, at least in my addled brains, IA is essentially an aggregate discipline. It’s a synthesis of a lot of other older disciplines, pulling bits and pieces to create a new profession where there is this new need of structuring shared information/digital environments. Thanks for links.

    Gray: I would’ve tried the Sims Online, but the playtest isn’t available for Macs. Which sad, since Maxis and the Sims creator initially made his name on the Mac platform. Oh well.

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