23 Sept 2022

Metaquette #VirtualEntertainment #GameShow #GameShows Q19.5 #Metaverse #MetaverseEntertainment

Weekly Tips & Tricks for negotiating The Metaverse.........with Pooky Amsterdam 

                                                In The Metaverse: Game Shows For The Win!!

The Metaverse is many things to many people but it is an entertainment platform to me. After writing, producing and hosting over 250 real-time viewer log in game shows, attended by people from all over the world, I know what a powerful medium it is for global enjoyment. A lot of the recent focus in new Metaverses are around real estate, blockchain technology, NFTs and other bright shiny objects, yet the fact there are real people behind the avatars which inhabit these worlds means to me that fun is what will last over time. Fun user experience which is unique to the medium as well.

Q: Is the Metaverse a good place for Game Shows and other real-time, unscripted TV - Like programming?

I was part of a WonderWomanTech event where I gave a presentation on how valuable a product this kind of content can and should be as The Metaverse becomes bigger than it was. I invite you to check out my talk, if you are interested in how this very cool future application of this space is possible.

Delivering content is what I am all about, and being able to wrangle a great panel which will generate fun, upbeat and timely shows that are ready for player you, is the way to go. There are a multitude of ways a show can be tailored to a brand or a sponsor, game shows are a very familiar way of engaging people, and prototyping them in the Metaverse is both fun and very cost effective. 

There are more than a few moving parts to developing a successful enterprise of this sort, so please feel free to contact me, as the nearly 2 decades of experience I have in this genre will be very useful to you. Because the time is right for people to Enter the Metaverse for Entertainment that will keep them returning, that will be broadcast out, that will have recognizable sponsorship and that will grow a user fan base.

I have been writing about the incredible potential of Virtual World TV-Like experience and authoring it for a very long time - Here is a blog from January of 2010 to prove it. Worth a read because so many of these tenants still work today and should be explored now that our metaverse awareness, tools and options have exponentially grown.

Here are some highlights from "yesteryears blog"

I have developed these game shows for many reasons:

1- Real-time interaction is something that enriches, enthralls and offers value.

2- The Metaverse has unique tools for this including scripting for buzzers, game boards and the ability to build with low costs.

3- It gives a great and localized population intelligent, savvy and dynamic excitement.

4- Location, Location, Location - being able to play right along at our favorite place, the computer.

5- It is very cost effective to produce on this platform. Traditionally game shows are less expensive to put on than  dramas or comedies. A real life game show costs roughly $100,000 - in The Metaverse this is a fraction of that cost.

6- The opportunities to try new new elements in game show development are endless, and the ability to broadcast out using youtube, discord, and other forms of Social media provide additional tools for engagement.

7- Product placement/ brand sponsorship / real-time commercials that are built into the program are all ways to monetize this.

8- Avatar based entertainment will grow as these virtual platforms grow. The investment in The Metaverse is becoming so great that they will easily be able to host a viable show within them.

You bet Metaverse Game Shows for the WIN! Contact me to make it happen.

If you have a question please email info@pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the subject line and it will be answered.

12 Sept 2022

Mettaquette #GameShows #VirtualEntertainment #FTW #Q19

 Tips & Tricks for Negotiating The Metaverse with......Pooky Amsterdam

Early Metaquette this week as I would like to invite you to watch my presentation at the WonderWomanTech Event which is running for 3 days September 13th - 15th. Physically is happens in Long Beach,Virtually I am on with a killer PowerPoint and delivering a lot of information about the importance of Metaverse Entertainment and how specifically game shows can be a part of that amazing experience. See below, arrow marks the slot.

Q: How can The Metaverse be more fun, encourage stickiness and become a destination for entertainment?

Producing over 250 game shows in the Metaverse has imparted me incredibly unique knowledge of how to get an interactive multi-player game show mounted where the user base will watch, play, share and come again for the fun. 

If you want to upgrade what a member of your Metaverse has on offer, or if you are a brand wanting to reach further than digital clothing or an NFT, let me can show you how the prize can be the chance to be a part of your show.

In The Metaverse: Game Shows For The Win!

If you follow this link you will be able to find out first hand -> Immersive Tech & Hybrid Summit. WonderWomanTech is an awesome organization and their Speaker line-up is tremendously deep and diverse. As it is a summit, there are tickets - It is $25.00 for this series, worth it.

My talk is scheduled for 9:15 AM Pacific / 12:15 PM Eastern  / 5:15 PM UK and I hope you can attend!

Then, if you have a question, email info@pookymedia.com with Game Shows in the Subject, and you will get a response.

8 Sept 2022

Metaquette #VirtualEducation Q18

Tips & Tricks for negotiating The Metaverse......with Pooky Amsterdam

We enter the Metaverse for fun, fame and fortune! Well, most of us...some of us use it for Educational purposes which have proven highly successful. While recent lockdowns introduced new ways of going to classes, virtual worlds have played a great part and will play a greater part, I think moving forward over the next years. There are many ways to incorporate a kind of learning which reinforces lessons with additional context in a simulated environment. Deeper roads can be made here.

Q: Can The Metaverse make you smarter?

Although "Metaverse" is defined differently than Whyville, which launched in 1997 by a Caltech professor, Whyville users were rewarded  with inworld currency (clams) for educational game play which they then used to buy fun face parts. That was a cool Play2Learn model. Today educational investment in The Metaverse and hours spent by students has exploded.  From just this past June the figures for Roblox's 200 million unique users, show people between the ages of 15 - 25 create more messages there than on WhatsApp. 

Where kids go in The Metaverse, education follows, and that demographics engagement also makes Roblox Education a powerhouse in the field with 11.3 Billion hours of spent in that for the first six months of 2022, bringing all sorts of games for educators and students.

Minecraft is another big site for educators used in over 100 countries with a lot of support for the teaching community and over 500+ lesson plans available for download. The Metaverse is a natural place for kids to learn, as the familiarity of games is embraced under the learning is fun concept.

Decentraland University hasn't really taken off yet but TheSandboxEDU seems vital with an emphasis on lots of science and art skills designed for kids 6 - 12. Learning about states of matter, operational ecosystems and functional electronics can be much more fun in a bright and colorful world, than in the classroom. Why not go there? Will future Metaverses have more of an emphasis on educational games? That seems a good probability, as the need for smarter content grows.

Spatial thinking is highly prized, but there is no formal edu consortium on Spatial The Metaverse yet, but with cool graphics and a more laid back community VRChat has a language learning going on in VRlanguage Exchange. Learning a foreign language in the Metaverse is really great because the visuals are reinforcing the content in an immersive way, plus it is a livelier way to engage a community of students around the grammar and vocabulary they need to learn. 

Here is a guided tour of Nefertitti's tomb in Somnium Space while Brookings has a great post on the Metaverse showing how history including Ancient Greece can be made much more vibrant by bringing it alive and allowing the student to enter a timeline. Building an ancient city can be a very illuminating hands on learning experience, more vivid than reading a book in our screen enhanced world.

The US Army is building a synthetic universe for training, which will enable educational deployment as an avatar, but not perhaps specifically to train medical professionals. Doctors and health professionals are receiving training in virtual environments. Johnson & Johnson built the Innovation room in Mexico with sophisticated medical devices to allow doctors and other medical professionals to rehearse in a virtual environment. 

One of my all time favorite stories of immersive education comes from 2007, when Loyalist University on the US / Canadian border did a virtual training to see if that improved test scores. It did, critical skills tests improved 53% to 95% as people's avatars trained amongst virtual border tolls, cars et al in this recreation.  

In 2012 Metaverse universities had a heyday when Second Life recorded 159 university sims including Princeton, plus NASA, NOAH and the JPL on their grid. It got even better watching the landing of the Mars Rover there, while sitting in Virtual Martian landscape while a huge media board played the inside of the NASA control room, courtesy of someone who was attached to their SL project at the time. 

There are opportunities to learn so much in The Metaverse, from more traditional kinds of lessons for children, to professional and teacher training, to a vast range of higher educational topics and areas.

With the very many different metaverses now there should be an educational community that works across platforms. Such as is represented at the Educational content heavy VWBPE going into its 15th year which has a very vibrant community and presentations from many Metaverses already mentioned. Over the years I have taken part in a virtual fire in the triangle shirtwaist factory, learned about Heiroglyphics and helped solve the puzzles of ocean pollution over the years. In the coming years there will be more of them attached, I'm sure.

The VWEC (Virtual World Educational Consortium) has an event October 5th bringing educators together., if interested it is open ot the public.The Metaverse can help people grow through the community of avatars which band together around shared interests as well, while lifelong learning is a highlight of The Metaverse. And Caltech always a frontrunner in learning technology, has a presence again on SL, VIRTech where teachers can train.

Virtual spaces provide so many ways for us to understand through inhabiting the moment, and being part of it. It can even help us understand our development into other phases of life as with InMind2 utilising Lovheims cube of emotion. You can learn how to beat over-thinking within the Metaverse!

And I do believe the best is yet to come.

I am personally waiting for an Allosphere to be built, and be able in the very surrounding Metaverse and see the inside of our minds, cellular structures and systems to learn increasingly more about them. 

For some very good reasons 14 to be exact from a University in Spain, here is why the Metaverse is great for Education. yes, you can get smarter in the Metaverse. What do you want to learn?

If you have a question, send an email to info@pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the subject, and it will be answered.

1 Sept 2022

Metaquette Q17 #Metaverse #WorldOfWarcraft #WoW #HughHancock #OculusRift #QA

 Tips & Tricks for negotiating The Metaverse with.....Pooky Amsterdam

In May of 2014, I had the pleasure to interview Hugh Hancock who had a great influence in Metaverse Entertainment & Game Engine film.  Hugh originated the term Machinima, which means cinema done on machine. We have come a long way since then.

The MTV Movie Awards just had their first Metaverse category. While many Metaverses have not only their own film tutorials, but tremendous content, it is well worth a look back at this exciting field! (MacInnes Studio has open today the new Real-Time Movie challenge which uses a game engine for filmmaking.)

Recently I ran across this interview and for his work on the virtual plane I am reproducing it now, as his work on this earthly one is finished. In reading this again 8 years after, Hugh predicted Meta from Facebook and much more! A real futurist!

Using game engines for filmmaking has grown tremendously over the years, this is worth a read for both content and context.

Here's to you Mr. Hancock, wherever you are!!

Q & A with Hugh Hancock


From the mind of the Machinima Man himself: HUGH HANCOCK

What happens when a portmanteau you are credited with becomes the next step in indie animation? You become quite recognized for your contribution to the medium and much more. Leading the way for so many of us in his field is Hugh Hancock of Stange Company, someone who has never taken his eyes off the future or the present possibilities with this game engine medium. I was lucky enough to catch him after he finished Part 1 of his epic new achievement: Death Knight Love Story. Here are some wonderful and, of course, incredibly insightful answers to the questions that Machinima minds and virtual world production people want to know!

Q: You go way back in Machinima as an entertainment and art form. When you started in 1997, did you see some of what the future would hold? Or were you at the time simply very excited to have this original outlet for your deep creativity?

HH: It's been a fascinating journey since that time!

Honestly, false modesty aside, I'd say that a lot of how Machinima has developed has been true to the version of it that Gordon McDonald, I and other Machinima pioneers had way back when it started out. A lot of things, including intellectual property issues, have conspired to mean that Machinima's development has in some ways been slower than we expected, with pioneering projects hitting unexpected roadblocks. However, with every year that passes, Machinima and similar techniques are coming closer to fulfilling the core dream of film as a truly democratic art form, rather than one whose scope is primarily dictated by available budget.

Q: At what point did you see the crossover from playing games in real time to capturing game engine film in real time?

HH: I must confess I didn't understand the potential of virtual worlds as a film-making tool until it was demonstrated by the Quake Movies, however, once I saw them and once I started with them myself, it was immediately obvious just how much potential this new approach to filmmaking had.

In retrospect, it's pretty obvious - games are world and action creation tools, and evoking a world is one of the hardest and most expensive parts of filmmaking. A tool that creates virtual worlds is incredibly powerful - and more importantly, incredibly freeing - for any filmmaker.

Q: Your recent film Death Knight Love Story is clearly a breakthrough in many ways. How difficult or easy was it to get people like Joanna Lumley and Brian Blessed on board?

HH: I was actually surprised at how open and interested both our casting director, Gail Stevens, and our stars were to this weird computer game-based project! Joanna put it best I think: "As an actor, you have to stay in the boat."

With the entire world of show business changing so fast right now, it makes sense that the people at the top of the industry are more, not less interested than most in exploring new ideas!

Having said that, none of this would have happened if I hadn't decided to contact people who I thought would be far too busy to be interested in a strange little machinima film. That's something I'd like to see more of in the virtual world and machinima communities - reaching out to people who would be interested in collaborating, featuring, or investigating our projects.

Q: Why did you chose World of Warcraft as your game engine choice for DKLS?

HH: I've played WoW for years, and have a deep fondness for the background and story of the world of Azeroth. It's a wonderful backdrop for all sorts of stories, as other Machinima creators before me have shown. In addition the fact that Blizzard were one of the first companies to put out a public Machinima license meant that I was very interested in supporting them in that, and seeing what could be done in the world of WoW.

The fact that the license existed was also a major plus point for me, as the legal uncertainties of other Machinima projects in other games have become a bit wearing in the past! It was nice to know where we stood with regards to the intellectual property we were building upon (at least until some last-minute unexpected changes to Blizzard's license!)

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges in using Wow? And successes?

HH: The success of using WoW was definitely the sheer scope it afforded us. Over the years, Azeroth has grown to be such a massive "backlot" from a movie-maker's point of view that we hardly ever failed to find a location that was perfect for the scene, or a prop or character who would fit into the story.

The fact that most of the team working on DKLS were also familiar with WoW was a big help too - that intimate familiarity meant we could immediately identify parts of the world which would work for the story we wanted to tell, and it saved us a lot of time location scouting.

The main challenges of the project were definitely pushing WoW to do something that it doesn't normally do. Death Knight Love Story turned out to be a quite subtext-heavy, very understated story that demanded a wide range of emotion from our characters, and the Wow graphics are very bold and brash - they aren't exactly known for their subtle expressiveness.

As a result, we ended up commissioning quite a bit of custom art for our lead characters, and fitting that into the overall WoW world and art style was a challenge, and possibly one we didn't fully meet.

Q: What virtual worlds, if any, do you have a personal avatar presence in? Why/Why not...please comment. When you are not filmmaking, are there any other activities you enjoy?

HH: I've got a presence in Second Life, but not a very active one. By preference my usual virtual community hangouts are very old-school and textural - Hacker News and Reddit, primarily!

In terms of non-filmmaking interests, I've had a lifelong interest in martial arts and I'm currently just starting to study Krav Maga, the Israeli self-defense technique. Real-life martial arts have always felt surprisingly similar to virtual world gaming to me - the extreme twitch reactions and spatial awareness of games like Quake are very similar to offline sparring.

I'm also a keen cook- hence my cookery show, Kamikaze Cookery - as well as a coffee and food enthusiast. And I still play offline, pen & paper roleplaying games as well as conventional computer games. Currently I'm playing through The Witcher 2, which I'm finding a very enjoyable story experience!

Q: Do you think virtual worlds and/or synthetic environments are a legitimate place for the co-opting of more traditional forms of entertainment? Such as a talk or a game show?

HH: I think that This Spartan Life has already well and truly proved that a virtual world talk show can work very well indeed! And of course, the huge rise in e-sports are as watchable and enjoyable as physical-equivalent sports. With the rise of virtual reality in particular, I think we will be seeing more and more physical world entertainment move to the virtual world.

Q: Many of the shows which are created in VWTV are often an offshoot of what we already participate in (with some stunning exceptions such as The Giant Snail races). Do you think people are limited by their actual experiences, or why do you think that folks with the ability to create "anything" often chose what is familiar?

HH: Innovation is often overrated, at least in terms of creating content which will attract an audience. people tend to like things that are similar to other things they've already enjoyed. We can see that on TV, with the endless police procedurals and medical dramas, and the same applies just as much to virtual entertainment.

Having said that, the shows that become massive hits are usually innovators in some way. I'm not surprised that most virtual world shows are similar to existing media, but I'd expect the breakout ones to be startlingly different.

Q: What are your thoughts on new interfaces like the Oculus Rift in virtual worlds?

HH: Well, the recent acquisition of the Oculus Rift by Facebook pretty much confirms that we're going to see a metaverse-like virtual world within virtual reality very soon. Mark Zuckerberg's making a big play here, and I don't think anyone who has thought about the situation really believes he just intends to put Facebook ads on an Oculus Rift - he's making a play for the next big frontier of technology, and it's very credible to believe that's going ot be VR. 


(The above links to Hugh doing a Riftjam Game Demo Video: Eye Of The Tower)

VR still isn't 100% proven. There are serious challenges facing people - including me- who are pioneering VR experiences, from "VR Sickness" to having to design an entirely new user interface. But the potential of VR is completely unmatched right now. if anything's going to bring virtual worlds into the mainstream, it's being able to step into them completely through a VR headset.

And it seems Mr. Zuckerberg thinks the same....

Q: Could you see doing a weekly show broadcast from a virtual world? And if so, what kind of show would you like to see or be part of?

HH: Absolutely-there's no reason to believe that's not entirely possible. i have long held backburner ideas for a political satire show made in virtual space, as it happens - a successor of sorts to the UK's infamous puppet satire show Spitting Image. I'm honestly surprised that no-one I'm aware of has tried political satire in virtual film yet!

Q: What are the biggest challenges you are finding with audiences who aren't familiar with WoW or Virtual environments in screening DKLS? Are you finding any resistance to the look and feel?

HH: Interestingly, most of the resistance we've faced from viewers of DKLS has come from people who *are* familiar with wow! Because we stepped away from the conventional aesthetic of WoW to create higher-resolution characters, that seem to be quite a jarring experience for people familiar with WoW.

In addition, we faced "Uncanny Valley" problems with DKLS's much higher visual fidelity than previous projects we've worked on. Figuring out a way round or over the infamous Uncanny Valley is pretty much my top priority right now.

Q: Anything more you would like to add? Free space!

HH: The next few years are going to be truly fascinating for people who are interested in virtual worlds. What has for along time been a niche interest appears to be going mainstream, fast!!


If you wish to read the interview on the Virtual Worlds Television blog, please click here, and feel free to explore past interviews.

If you have a question please email info@pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the Subject, and it will be answered.