At the AAAS conference a few weeks ago, some academics brought research to show that there's a clear relationship between native country and social-network-of-choice. Brazilians use orkut. Filipinos and Malaysians use another (Friendster maybe, I'm not certain). For American teens, the clear #1 choice is MySpace. It's hit critical mass, and even though everyone agrees that the interface sucks, it's still "the" place to go, so the other services are no longer really an option. The teens have to go where their friends are.
Here at the Game Developers Conference this week, I'm hearing the same buzz. No longer are my own peers talking about orkut or friendster or tribe.net (or at least, not much). Now, it's MySpace getting mentioned everywhere, with LinkedIn coming in second as a more business-oriented networking service. Everyone agrees that MySpace is ugly, MySpace is loud, MySpace is an assault on the senses and sensibilities -- but, MySpace is the (current) place to be.
Oh, and an update on hot games, from the award show last night. Game of the Year went to "Shadow of the Colossus". Other games getting plenty of great buzz are "Guitar Hero", "Darwinia", "God of War," and "Nintendogs". The "First Penguin" (historical innovator) award went to Crowther and Woods for the early text game "Adventure" (award given by Steve Meretzky and Bob Bates, wearing spelunking gear, which was appropriate). Lifetime Achievement award went to Lord British aka Richard Garriott, for his Ultima series. Community Contribution award went to Chris Hecker who gave a *great* acceptance speech -- very entertaining, and is probably going to draw "Will Wright" comparisons. Speaking of which, Wright is on the cover of "Wired" this month, and I've gotta run if I'm going to catch his keynote. Ciao!