Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Clay Shirky opened my eyes to the deeply social nature of our species with his book, Here Comes Everybody. I had never thought about it before, but it makes a lot of other things make sense, like why people are so addicted to social media and social video games. We as humans have a deep-seated desire to collaborate and feel like we are valued contributors. This is why Electronic Arts can get away with releasing yet another iteration of SimCity---this one lets you build your city next to another user's city so you have to work together to avoid disasters. It is also why things like the Steam Workshop are so successful. People with specialized skills are willing to contribute their time and talents to improve their own experience, and that of the group. New tools are helping make more parts of our lives group experiences, and are helping us share the fruits of our individual improvements with our peers.