i like how reddit posts planned outages as regular stories

26 Jan


One of the important points from last week's social design patterns talk was the principle, "learn from games". It's not a new point (Brenda Laurel emphasised it in the early '90s, in Computers As Theatre http://www.amazon.com/Computers-as-Theatre-Brenda-Laurel/dp/0201550601), but an important point.

I'm not a gamer – casual iPhone diversions aside – but as an observer, one of the interesting features is the way games weave "housekeeping" concerns into the game universe. (It's perhaps not a fundamental feature of game design, but certainly a relevant one for non-game design to pick up on.) For example, you wish to speak to to your mate. Instead of opening a pulldown menu, leading to a modal dialog, you make your avatar pull out their mobile phone and make a call. That kind of thing.

Reddit posts their announcement as a regular story and lets the community upvote it if it's relevant. You could frame it in a million different ways, but one way to look at this phenomenon is game design applied to a non-game.


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