Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Participants in internet-based social network-
ing are immersed in fragmented digital environ-
ments, and engage in acts of computer mediated
communication (Hatzipanagos 2006) through
e-mail, email-conferencing and mobile texting,
podcasting, personal publishing via blogs and
wikis, aggregation and mash-ups, voice, chat,
instant messaging and videoconferencing. So-
cial networking is productive of and exercised
by virtual communities of people with common
interests. Users have the opportunity to contribute
to personal and informal or professionally oriented
social networks and the goal can be employment,
provision of a service or collaboration.
The term community has been expanded to
include interdependency and a set of relation-
ships that connect people and groups. Citizens
become Netizens, an identity that relates them
to the entire world, and moves them outside their
local life and work settings. For example, social
networking, such as Facebook, MySpace, Secon-
dLife and LinkedIn have changed forever the way
people communicate in formal (professional) or
informal spaces.
In all these cases, instead of business-generated
content, we see user-generated content; the users
contribute directly or indirectly and collectively
co-create content or experiences. The users are not
only consumers, but also co-developers; they do
not expect the passive fulfilment of their needs by
business firms. Instead, they participate actively
in the development of products and services that
meet their needs. Their motives for participa-
tion are related to their needs to create products,
services and websites that fulfil their personal
interests, to tailor offers according to their prefer-
ences, to experiment, learn and gain experiences,
to contribute to the community, to offer to their
peers and to communicate and share with others.
A Word on (Bypassing)
Infinite Regress
Activities related to both the preparatory actions
needed for establishing a collaboration session
of the extended 'Collaboration game' as well
as for organising information management and
processing during its course can make apparent
the fact that there are plenty of infinite regress
problems and that we need to disaggregate the
concept of information before we can get a better
understanding of the arguments. To use a quite
widely known example (Smith, 1987), in short:
it seems true that before we proceed to a
collaboration act we have to make a deci-
sion on how much information to collect
before proceeding to the particular act
but, before we can make a collaboration
decision on how much information to col-
lect we also need to collect information
about how much information we should
collect to make that decision and so on.
This is a problem in two ways:
First, it produces an infinite regress.
Second, it may be impossible to get reli-
able information even when one decides to
spend time seeking the information.
We believe this is important because it dem-
onstrates that rational choice theory has to be
complemented by psychological theories in order
to explain collaborative behaviour.
The infinite regress problem makes it impos-
sible to make a rational decision in some situa-
tions: if rational behaviour is logically impossible,
then behaviour in those circumstances can not
be explained as the outcome of rational choice
(Elster, 1986).
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