Geeks without Borders?
March 16, 2003 2:55 PM   Subscribe

Chasing the Wish was one of those websites that people suspected of being everything from another 8march2003 to another Push Nevada or Cloud Makers. What it turned out to be however was a announcement for a free ARG or Alternate Reality Game as hosted by such groups as the ARGN, Unfiction, Collective Detective, to name a few. Mentioned in this BBC article and this NYT article, as potential ways to study collective problem solving dynamics, it would seem that this type of crossover treasure hunting could yield some very real world knowledge. I bet the folks at Princeton will have an eye on this one. It's already spawned a funny parody site too.
posted by metameme (4 comments total)
Just FYI, Cloudmakers wasn't a game, it was a group that formed around the Microsoft/AOL TW/DreamWorks promotion for Steven Spielberg's A.I.

The current site is acting as an archive of that promotion, and is now part of the Alternate Reality Gaming Network.
posted by danhon at 3:12 PM on March 16, 2003

The Chasing the Wish game also included a site Collective Protective Insurance which was an obvious spoof of Collective Detective.

Theres a feedback loop here in which as the solvers get smarter, the puzzles and fictions created by the Gamemakers become more complex and attuned to that environment. Perhaps its like a predator-prey relationship of the online world which, hopefully, just like its counterpart in evolution will produce some wonderfully sublime games.

Of course, some press articles also suggest that these solver communities are a nascent form of collective intelligence in general, the smart mobs which can perhaps focus and solve some real-world issues. This remains to be seen but it is an interesting idea nonetheless.
posted by vacapinta at 3:18 PM on March 16, 2003

It's also 1. down, and 2. the first link metameme has ever posted. I smell astroturf...
posted by nicwolff at 9:44 PM on March 16, 2003

as potential ways to study collective problem solving dynamics

I think it is still far away. Yes, it is possible to have a model that will explain this particular emergence of cooperation, but everything goes bad when one tries to generalize. There is also the problem of data collection: (1) it is one shot game (data cannot be reproduced); (2) an experiment would not reproduce the same conditions as the original game.

As an interesting note, metafilter, slashdot, k5, etc. can be used for these studies.
posted by MzB at 7:13 AM on March 17, 2003

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