Sunday, November 17, 2019

MLSS: Superhuman - one shot (or not) game - Shooting Fish in a Vault
We throw together a game involving a new superhero system.

Superhero - a story game of troubled superheroes

#superhero #narrative

Sunday, November 10, 2019

MLSS: Vs. Stranger Stuff - Part 3 - 12 Angry Cats

and now the grand finale.  Or what lurks beneath the metal barn.

Here's a hint:  it's scary and just plain wrong.

#kidsonbikes #trpg #cats #dogs

Monday, November 4, 2019

MLSS: Vs. Stranger Stuff - Part 2 - Yarrr, Hoist the Chew Toy!
Our game progresses with the appearance of Tetch, a Pirate dog with a mysterious hat and a missing cat named Tiger.

Our heroes approach our fears (or not), as we get spied on by a crazy anthropologist lady, pestered by cops and decide it's time to go on the farm.

#strangerthings #rpg #trpg

Friday, November 1, 2019

Social Media Analysis #3 - Tech Company's Mad Dash for Power!!!

Harris, T. 2017. How a Handful of Tech Companies Control Billions of Minds Every Day. TED Talk.


This dovetails into the last social media analysis, but instead of distraction, it instead refers to the idea of steering people's thoughts (although couched by saying in an ethical manner). The tools of social media are not evolving randomly, but are defied by a race for our attention.  They use persuasive - persuasive technology for the purposes of socialization working off the assumption of a most finite resource:  The attention span of the average human.  Outrage, in particular, is something that can be used to maximize marketing potential as it can be herded.

In response, the speaker requests a three-part response. Firstly, human beings are persuadable in a block of time and accepting it allows a form of enlightenment. Secondly, we need to develop new models of accountability transparency to avoid the clandestine nature of current info gathering.
Finally, we need to focus on the current era instead of the future and use social shepherds, as tools will only get more insidious over time and we need to empower the timeline so we have a happier future.  If we can focus on macro issues like climate change, most complex issues have it coordinate together.


Youtube autoplay allows a path of least resistance and taking advantage of that most human of traits, laziness,   to maximize the attention of their audience. As a result, other competitors, such as Netflix or Facebook, follow suit.

Snapchat is a common social media tool used by teenagers.  They have a simple metric known as  Snapstream that shows the number of days they communicated.  This tracking of blocks of time creates an incentive to share passwords to keep their Snapstream going.

Interest and Appeal

The goals of the persuader aligning with the goals of the persuade I get and understand.  I do like the idea of synergy that creates a mutually beneficial relationship that could be expanded and I do like a good model of information.  Despite this, it feels more tempting than a solution.

Impact of Talk

Social engineering takes away agency and removes the ability to communicate in our relationships.  While I'm starting to agree, why would there be any incentive in changing the model?

The model still relies on social shepherds and ethics that ultimately lead to a "who watches the watchman" dilemma.  Any social media tool would be reliant on the ethical consideration of the people involved.  It most likely would need regulation by a third party or it could create a situation where you are simply exchanging one trap for another.

Additionally, his argument from authority brought up "kids sending empty messages"  that smacked somewhat of agism.  This is an argument that dates back to the ancient Greeks and it seems to be a common complaint as every generation blames the one after for not following the rules.


So what are your thoughts?

Is it even possible to create such a relationship without temptation rearing its ugly face?

Feel free to leave a comment below.  I'm curious about your feedback.

#socialmedia #technology #socialengineering

Social Media Analysis #2 - Driven By Tech Distraction

Harris, T. 2014. How Better Tech Could Protect Us From Distraction. Ted Talk.


The premise is how to get a choice from our technology.  The idea is that social media is bulldozing our attention and we have conditioned ourselves to be driven to be distracted.  He brings up the concept that you are either "on" or off and having a fear of missing out.  It's not just coworkers, but we end up distracting ourselves in the process.

That we need help with the way technology designing technology 

According to the presenter it takes about 23 minutes to return to a state 

I did a sweep to cross-reference his info and think I found the original source below: 

It works under the idea of the highest quality level of communication between two people.


While there are many examples used an analog of slot machines as they are a similar level of social distraction when it comes to social media.

His main counterexample was the use of couch surfing.   Instead of matching guests with hosts, the instead say they designed to create lasting positive experiences and relationships between strangers.

It then presents a metric where you take the number of days and then subtract the number of positive hours in those days.  Then you divide how positive in this experience and then subtract a number of hours spent on the website. This is the net "good times" created between strangers.

Interest and Appeal

It's a good idea, but we already have the tools in question: The urgent button.  Unless we have common ground with concern with the messaging, the tools won't matter.  His metrics seem a little subjective, to put it mildly.  and there are a bit of Orwellian undertones and a threat of the old Doctor Who Happiness Patrol to all this.

Here's a synopsis of the later for your own education:

His very example shows the weakness in his argument.  The use of organic is mainly a marketing term as there isn't any regulation on the term itself.  Plus the actual term organics is mainly used to reduce overall food production and to create hysteria to scare people from using genetic alternatives that will save lives (ex. golden rice) due to fear and the mob mentality.

Impact of Talk

From a marketing perspective, the best thing is to create a socially conscious term and use it for marketing purposes. Ultimately it's about presenting a good experience and one that provides a specific focus.


So what are your thoughts?

Is the technology possible by reducing distraction and developing closer relationships, or is it a pipe dream?.

Feel free to leave a comment below.  I'm curious about your feedback.

#socialmedia #technology #distraction

Social Media Analysis #1 - Going Viral - Social not Medical

I have to write a few blogs on several ted talks for a class I'm taking, so putting them here so I can best understand them and reference them at a later date:

Nguyen, D. 2017. What Makes Something Go Viral? TED Talk. 


The thesis of this presentation is twofold:

  • Anticipation creates virality.  The idea of creating a feeling of a sudden action that hasn't arrived yet will bring a greater degree of interest for any project.
  • However, the main part of the presentation was the idea of cultural cartography.  The idea was don't just think about the content, but figure out how it applies what they are thinking and to be able to present it and present it on how is it helping our users do a real job in their lives?

It included this handy, dandy image to show the interrelationship of presenting your content to your audience

It is broken down into the following base categories:

  1. Humor
  2. This is me (self-deprecating)
  3. This is us 
  4. It helps you learn something about yourself.

Examples used:

It began is live streaming of goats in BuzzFeed office on their boss.  Because it took time to present, there was a delayed response that increased the audience to 90,000.

They then were followed up with an attempt to duplicate its effect.  They dressed two people in hazmat suits and wrapped rubber bands around watermelons until they popped. This was a facebook live event that included many hits.  they got 800,000 people to watch it successfully.

The main presentation was the use of 32 memes to send to your sister immediately, which apparently had enough 3 million views by taping into the following cultural cartography categories: this is us, connects with family, makes me laugh.

The next presentation was "Pick your footwear and we'll guess your age and height.  This went viral with 55 and up women who were surprised and delightful that they were 28 and 5'9."  It was not accurate, but it empowered their viewers to perform a humblebrag.

We end the examples on the recipe: They wanted to hit the following bubbles: Job - > ingredient - > recipe.  This led to the fudgiest brownies ever that empowered their viewers together on the baking.

Interest and Appeal

I did like the usage of a structure to present data on how it can be used overall in a presentation.

Impact of Talk 

I'm finding a real disconnect in what they are presenting.  The name of the game for their case samples is absurdity more so than social contract and using their cultural cartography as a rationale for their overall results.

To quote from our previous social media best practices, it feels it's emphasis is more so on Awareness and Engagement media, but in its current state, it does little in converting to Conversion metrics.

This is to not say it isn't useful, but rather mostly can be used to generate the first step in any social media presence rather an overall plan.


So what are your thoughts?

Will this base model work for your own social media presentations.

Feel free to leave a comment below.  I'm curious about your feedback.

#socialmedia #viral #buzzfeed

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

MLSS: Vs. Stranger Stuff - Part 1 - the 100 Meter Laxative Dash
We try our hand at the kids on bikes genre.

So after creating a sleepy cheese town with a scarry gazebo, we had a slice of life episode where the juvenile delinquent and the nerd show why bullying them is a seriously bad idea (it involved laxatives).

#strangerthings #rpg #trpg