Obama for America, the MMO

07 October 2008

Almost everybody’s linked to the Obama ’08 Official iPhone Application by now. With just cause, as well; it’s a nifty, attractive piece of crowdsourced software development that focuses on a single task that’s well suited to mobile – canvassing – and provides the amateur campaigner with the tools to canvas more effectively.

Skimming over the official page, though, I couldn’t help but notice this in the list of features:

See nationwide Obama ’08 Call Friends totals and find out how your call totals compare to leading callers.

So whilst you’re canvassing your friends and recording just how many of them are going to vote for Barack in November, you can also compare yourself to how everybody else using the app is doing. In one click, you’ve got a massively multiplayer high score chart – and of course, you’re going to want to beat everybody else on there, so you go off to canvas some more.

Obama for America just launched an MMO, and nobody noticed.

It’s taken a long while to put together, mainly because I wanted to write up my very sketch notes into something approximating what I said, and also because I wanted to experiment with a more representative way of publishing presentations online.

Anyhow, I’m very pleased to share Playing Together: What Games Can Learn From Social Software with you.

It went down pretty well at both NLGD and Develop, and I really enjoyed some of the thinking that went into it. I’m working out what to do about that, obviously, but in the meantime, I thought it deserved a wider audience. Do enjoy, and I’d love to hear your feedback on it.