Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
ecology, evolution, economics, food supply or
climate change, there are few public metrics or
values whose outcomes we can assay as scientific
and known.
When we consider the individual, if we de-
skill the citizen, by capturing their expertise
electronically, we lower their self-esteem and
status, they become disenfranchised, and no longer
participate, the ιδιωτης, which means private, but
is read idiots. Instead if we “accept the fact that
the common man can actually govern” (James,
1956), and understand with Adam Smith in the
Wealth of Nations, that as well as value in use,
there is value in exchange. Moreover, realize
after Marcel Mauss and Bronislaw Malinowski
that we attach great significance to gifts, we like
to exchange them and that the exchange adds
value, and that we gain social prestige thereby.
We understand that a public, who cannot produce
and publish, can only be consumers; and that they
can only value that which they can use, as they
have no ability to produce.
We must provide the individual, not only with
the data of the state, but the tools to model it, make
a personal statement, publish it and communicate
with others; and by this means enable each one
of us, the plebiscite to take responsibility and
thus engage in and contribute to the democratic
process. Raj Patel (2009) makes a convincing case
for involving the public in evaluating opportunity
cost, citing the 30,000 residents of Porto Alegre
who allocate over $200million of local govern-
ment spending through participatory budgeting.
We may all benefit when tools, data and results
are searchable and hence discoverable.
When we try to explain, visualise and play with
the complex relationships in large data sets our
conclusions may be hard to justify. Data may be
extensive, but algorithms and hence knowledge
of relations remains limited. The late Jim Gray
(2009) asserts that “we have hardly any data vi-
sualization and analysis tools” (p. xxvi) and that
“Lots of new tools are needed” (p. xxx) and sug-
gests that the Internet needs a data-intensive layer
to cope with the data deluge, and that scientists
need vastly improved data management tools;
but don't we all? What better way to engage the
public in scientific debates, than to give us the
tools to participate? Volunteers and amateurs enjoy
contributing to scientific progress and it is a route
to improving knowledge and communication on
complex topics for us all. Might the much closer
links between those who create knowledge and
those who use it (Abbott, 2009), ultimately reside
in the individual?
The State, corporations, academia, standards
bodies and the public will all need to have excellent
channels of communication if appropriate tools
for the public are to be developed.
Is W3C Fulfilling Its Mission?
Web resources are necessarily constructed using
technical languages. A number of working groups
within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
agree the specifications for the various technical
languages such as svg, css, xml, xslt, rdf, and html
that are used by web browsers; but why is there
not a W3C game standards working group? Adobe
& Macromedia's flash plug-in and authoring tools
have been and remain the de facto, if proprietary
means for deploying games across browsers.
How are we to determine whether the current
web specifications, the processes used to create
them and the people involved, are meeting the
needs of the public? The W3C Mission is “to
lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by
developing protocols and guidelines that ensure
the long-term growth of the Web.” And its first
principle:
The social value of the Web is that it enables hu-
man communication, commerce, and opportunities
to share knowledge. One of W3C's primary goals
is to make these benefits available to all people,
whatever their hardware, software, network infra-
structure, native language, culture, geographical
location, or physical or mental ability. (2010)
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