13th October 2011: Ian Hughes, Director, Feeding Edge Limited
Following our short Annual General Meeting, Ian Hughes (known as ePredator online), Metaverse Evangelist, talked about how computer games and virtual worlds are changing the way that we look at technology and the way that we communicate in business. Ian writes an entertaining blog at www.feedingedge.co.uk/blog and is Chair of the BCS Animation and Games Development Specialist Group.
Ian explained that for the last few years, he has mostly worked as consultant online in a virtual workplace. Anything else now seems strange to him. He is also the resident ‘Super Geek’ on the TV programme Cool Stuff Collective currently showing on ITV1 on Saturday mornings.
Ian pointed out that most people now play games of all sorts and Gamification is a recognised way to make technology more engaging. Gaming and virtual worlds are also big business. The server side of WoW consists of 20,000 computers, 1.3 petabytes of storage, 75,000 CPU cores, 5.5 million lines of code and 2 million words of text. Second Life’s in-game user-to-user economic activity totalled $567 million in 2009.
We can use this type of technology to improve the effectiveness of what we do and to make it a richer and more memorable experience. For example, the user experience of Second Life can be far superior to that of telephone and video conferencing. We should not regard these technologies as just for amusement; they can help people learn, they can be used to effectively get across messages and can greatly assist the creative process. Ian encouraged us all to embrace these technologies, as otherwise we will be left behind by young people who understand what is possible now and in the future.