Category Archives: Games

"A funny thing happened on the way to the forum": Article in Indo about 10 years of

20080214a.png Irish Independent > Business > Technology > A funny thing happened on the way to the forum
After 10 years, John Breslin’s online forum on everything from personal relationships to motors and mustard,, is still blazing a trail

By Marie Boran
Thursday February 14 2008

Want to know where you can buy the cheapest digital camera, or how to go about claiming rent relief, or maybe if buying cowboy boots would be a fashion disaster?

The world relies on Google but the Irish have On this online bulletin board no question is too trivial or too bizarre and with an average 900,000 visitors to the site every month, there are plenty of answers on offer.

It is hard to believe that a decade ago, on 12 February, 1998, founder John Breslin wrote expectantly: “The first of many messages, I hope.”

Read more…

Of course, there are four other people who have made possible: Tom Murphy, Dan King, Gerry Shanahan, and Jerry Connolly. Without them and our amazing team of voluntary moderators, I doubt would even exist today. Original questions and answers follow.

Continue reading "A funny thing happened on the way to the forum": Article in Indo about 10 years of

Synopsis of some of the content discussed at the Talk Digital event on Monday

Thanks to Nina at the Digital Hub for this synopsis of the GAME :ON / Talk Digital event on “Social Networking in Games” I participated in on Monday. I believe a video will be made available shortly…

GAME :ON – A Cyber Games Festival
Summery of the Talk Digital on Gaming and Social Networks
The Digital Hub, Monday 10th September 2007

This industry seminar was hosted by The Digital Hub as part of their Game :On Cyber Games Festival. The Talk Digital was chaired by Irish Times Journalist, John Collins. The panel was Ben Brown (Moli), Jamie McCormick (X-Box Live Gaming Centre), Joe Drumgoole (Put, John Breslin (NUIG, Deri), Mark Taylor (Eircom) and Peter Lynch (Eirplay Games).

The discussion focussed on the present and future of Gaming. The consensus seemed to be that social networking and gaming are becoming more and more linked, especially in relation to casual gaming. The drivers for this come from both players and the industry. Examples such as and are demonstrating that more and more attention is being put on the add-ons required to enhance the networked gaming experience.

But this is not the whole story. There is still a very clear distinction between pure games and pure social networks. An interesting debate ensued when the question “Is Second Life a Game?” was posed. The question becomes more profound when we think of ‘games’ such as Simms – is this a social network environment?

In terms of the fundamental idea that eventually players will want, on mass, to form connections with other players and that in time these connections will form the basis of on-line societies, the panel discussed some of the short term drivers for this. There does seem to be a real connect between real life events and social networks forming on-line. We can think of concerts, or big news events as such triggers. Such triggers are reflected very quickly in new social networks, the question arises as to could Games replicate this?

The views of the panel were that No games are not there yet. There are a number of reasons: the mains ones are a) the proprietary nature of gaming hardware and software was said to be a major potential barrier to true integration of games and social networking. b) Restrictions in the portability of identity and reputation will prevent players connecting their on-line persona (e.g. an avatar) with the games they want to play. These restrictions will prevent the establishment of ad-hoc groups or clans, from forming in a really unplanned way. In short it will be difficult to see true social networks becoming part of published games in the near future.

Towards the future then, the panel gave their views as to what is likely to happen in the next 5 years. They speculated that we will:

  • See much more user generated games, an example would be browsing for a game on YouTube.
  • User interfaces with games device will change and potentially become much more immersive
  • Cross platform games will emerge where characters, leagues, high scores will be available across devices
  • High end social networks and games will become more photo realistic and therefore more immersive

There was consensus that as the games industry, like the film and music industry, sees the enormous potential of social networks, it will begin to dismantle the existing barriers to true social gaming.

GAME :ON "Talk Digital" Seminar on "Social Networking in Games"

20070903b.png As mentioned previously, I will be taking part in the “Talk Digital” panel discussion on “Social Networking in Games” on Monday at 1 PM, which is part of the GAME :ON Cyber Games Festival in the Digital Hub, Dublin next week. The panelists are:

The event will be chaired by John Collins from the The Irish Times, and the where and when details are:

  • Date: Monday, 10 September 2007
  • Time: 13:00
  • Venue: Presentation Room in the Digital Depot, Roe Lane, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8 (map)

Been a busy B…

…for the past few months, hence the lack of regular blog entries. Most of my summer has been taken up with proposal writing for research funding here at DERI, the first of which finished up around the end of the June and the second ran from then until the end of August, so unfortunately I haven’t had time for much else…

Anyway, here are some updates about future social media / social software activities I’m involved in: