#340 The Double Edge Sword of Crowdsourcing

Last week two major crowd sourcing projects were launched and made the headlines on the major gaming websites, TwitchPlaysPokemon and Valve’s Steam Tags system.

The first project is a real-time ROM hack of Pokemon Blue that allows the chat-room to dictate what button to press (including everything from the directional buttons to start and select). The project is still going strong but it going as well as you expected.

Reminds me of that old question, "can an infinite amount of monkeys are sitting in a room with an infinite amount of typewriters could they type up the complete works of Shakespeare?"

Reminds me of that old question, “can an infinite amount of monkeys typing on an infinite amount of typewriters could they type up the complete works of Shakespeare?” I guess we’ll find out.

 

The other is Steam’s Tags, the new project that allows the players to set, search, and organized their favorite games into personalized tags. As you might have heard or guessed the tagging system was hijacked and trashed in less than 24 hours with people creating tags like “Casual” to describe the Call of Duty series, creating a “horrible” and “rip off” tag for a few specific games and tagging Dota 2 as “causal” and “League of Legends”. I don’t know what the people at  Valve were expecting to happen.

My personal favorite is the tags for the Secret of the Magic Crystals game

My personal favorite is the tags for the Secret of the Magic Crystals game

 

Both shows the double edge sword of crowd-sourcing and crowdfundingCrowd sourcing has been a big trend in gaming with the inventions of game specific wikis, the success of Kickstarter and support of the community mods and multiple other projects but as good this golden goose looks those examples only showed the best of the highlights of the players. 

What people do not regularly except that there are always going to be jerks out there trying to ruin a perfectly good thing just to get a rise out of the fans. For a great example is the Internet poll, ‘Worst Company In America History’ was rigged by a dedicated few to ensure that Entertainment Arts was guaranteed to win the Golden Poo award for two years in a row.

I remember some miffed that  "too big to fail" Bank of America lost to a video game company

I remember some miffed that “too big to fail” Bank of America lost to a video game company

 

Imagine how Kickstarter projects would turn out if on top of donating money you could also take cash away from the cause, like a real life money pit? Almost nothing would get funded.

I am not discrediting crowdsourcing projects but these two examples shows that, a bit like capitalism, there needs to be some regulation or supervision to weed out the terrible few that threaten to jeopardize the experience for the rest of us.

But going back to Valve,  it looks like the tagging filter system is getting things straighten out, they must have know that it would create a few hiccups….unless they knew that and went ahead with it and used it to generate press from people, each retelling their favorite exploit of the system.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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