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Posts with tag joichi-ito

15 Minutes of Fame: I didn't know he plays WoW!

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Readers constantly bombard us with tips and requests for features on famous people who play WoW. So here's the deal ... Frankly, guys? Sometimes the hottest celebrities, the ones who seem the most exciting, the really bigger than life types -- they're really not all that exciting to talk to about WoW. They turn out to be pretty much like the rest of us -- they go to work (albeit, more glamorous work than ours), they come home, and they flop down in front of the computer to grind and pug and raid just like the rest of us. They equip their WoW pants the same as anyone else.

And then sometimes, famous people just don't want the spotlight shone on their gaming habit. Even today, when everyone plays some sort of game on Facebook or their phones or a console or somewhere, some people consider gaming their dirty little secret. Others are afraid that their privacy will be compromised. Despite not needing to divulge a single identifying detail about their characters, they still don't want to risk anyone being able to figure out the identities of the Azerothian alter egos.

Yet over the years, 15 Minutes of Fame has talked with some pretty enthusiastic WoW players who also happen to be somewhat (or very) famous. You'll find some of them in last week's roundup of WoW-playing authors. And we've talked to plenty more -- and so to stoke your curiosity, we've rounded up a list of some of the more high-profile WoW players we've featured.

Didn't realize Mr. or Ms. Famous So-and-So plays your game? Click past the break and get the inside scoop.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Joi Ito on player relationships and connecting

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Last week, we set the stage with internet superman Joichi Ito in a conversation that meandered through the old days of gaming, from getting his feet wet in MUDs to why he misses 40-man raiding in WoW. This week, we're back to discuss why some people with MBAs make crappy raid leaders, how WoW builds stronger bonds between people who work together, and his plans to bring WoW along for the ride at the MIT Media Lab.

Catch up on last week's part 1 of our interview with Joi first.

15 Minutes of Fame: So what's your own guild focused on now?

Joi Ito: The Horde side had kind of wound down a little bit. It still exists, but it's mostly the Alliance side now. When we were both going strong, it was really fun because we did a lot of joint stuff. [laughs] What we would do is do sort of sister guild PVP -- but it would always get messy because you'd find people from other guilds noticing and then jumping in. Right now, we're definitely not first in the realm, but we just hit level 25. I'm pretty delinquent; I need to level myself up, so as not to embarrass everyone too badly. [laughs]

Every expansion, we go through several iterations of discussing the governance and stuff like that, and a lot of the old-time guild leadership aren't active. I got grandfathered in because it's hard not to have someone in the background, I guess, being the custodian of things to do when no one else can decide.

There was a really interesting paper written by Dmitri Williams, who's an academic, and they did a study on the relationship between guild rules and stability of the guild. It said that in guilds that called themselves "casual" but didn't have any rules, the players tended to have more anxiety than those guilds where there were rules, and that "casual" didn't mean no rules, that rules help people feel comfortable.

Our guild rules are pretty anal, a pretty extensive set of rules, and there's a lot of participation by the guild members in working on these rules. I don't know how formal rules are in other guilds -- I haven't been in too many other guilds -- but discussing the rules and the governance of the guild seems to be a thing that a lot of our guild likes to spend time on. That's primarily where my focus is these days, making sure that the leadership and the guild rules aren't too out of sync with what's going on in the game.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: MIT Media Lab director Joichi Ito on WoW

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Let's get Joichi Ito's professional credentials out of the way first. The 44-year-old Japanese venture capitalist is the incoming director of the avant-garde MIT Media Laboratory. A self-professed "informal learner" (he dropped out of college twice and never finished a degree) now shines as one of the stars of the digital age, serving on the board of directors for Creative Commons, Technorati, ICANN, and Mozilla, and catching the wave as an early-bird investor in Last.fm, Flickr, and Twitter.

Currently a resident of Dubai (he moved there so he could get a better feel for the people and the region), he circumnavigates the globe a full two times every month in the course of his international pursuits. According to his Twitter stream, he's been scuba diving in Japan this week taking underwater radioactivity samples; after catching the bug to learn how to dive, he promptly became a master diver and now is a PADI open water instructor. He's the godson of psychedelic explorer Timothy Leary ...

... and a guild leader in World of Warcraft. "My feeling is that what we are doing in WoW represents in many ways the future of real time collaborative teams and leadership in an increasingly ad hoc, always-on, diversity intense and real-time environment," he wrote in his blog back in 2006. In fact, one of his presentations on WoW made it into an early incarnation of our Moviewatch feature in 2007.

So yeah, we're going to talk about WoW ... Need anything else to cement his gaming cred? Two more tidbits: Ito's GMed a WoW raiding guild since the original days of Molten Core, and he owns an actual handwritten map drawn by Richard Bartle, creator of the first MUD -- it's like the Magna Carta of gaming.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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