I’m at the Participatory Academy, the 4th European Workshop on Cross Media & Collaboration, at Växjö University in Sweden, where I’ll be giving the keynote tomorrow about participatory media. About 150 people are here, mostly students and educators, discussing the emerging new media landscape. Ulf from SVT — Sweden’s equivalent of the BBC or our PBS — loaned me a high-definition camcorder and I’m doing a couple of short video interviews, so we’ll see how those turn out after I get back.
I’m bouncing off the walls because of the high-octane coffee — the Swedes don’t believe in decaf. The weather’s great — a balmy 68. It’s been the warmest September here on record, I’m told.
Meantime, a few brief highlights from today’s sessions:
Lena Glaser, head of SVT Interactive, gave a great sampling of the 2,000 hours of SVT programming available on demand at svt.se. For instance, a cooking show hosed by popular chef Niklas Mat, “At home with Niklas,” is shot in different formats. One is shot for television. For the Web version, which also goes to mobile and to “pod television,” Niklas doesn’t wear makeup. “You get a sense of nearness, you feel as though you’re in his house,” said Lena, who explained that SVT equates mobile with streaming media and pod TV with downloadable media, a much smaller number of files because of copyright holders’ concerns about unrestricted content online.
SVT’s goal, she said, is “to create interactive programs without scaring a large passive audience away from the program.”
Ron van der Sterren described the nonprofit Danish music site 3Voor12‘s coverage of 20 music festivals a year. Cool site! He said some DJs have begun turning down requests to videotape their shows because when the site streams a show, it shows up on YouTube within a half hour — illegally, of course.
A speaker showed off the trippy virtual world Entropia Universe, run by Mindark with about 35 staffers. Many thousands of real-world dollars are changing hands as people trade for virutal goods, as they do at Second Life and elsewhere. They’ll soon go public on European trading exchanges.
Peter Zackariasson of the Umeå School of Business, an expert in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), described the online game landscape.
Who plays online games?
73 million online gamers worldwide
27 million of them play MMOG
average age is 29 years old
43 percent are women
average person spends about 22 hours/week in a MMOG
Most popular MMOGs
World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment), with 6.5 million users worldwide
Eve-online (CCP Games)
Everquest 2 (sony online entertainment)
Lineage (NCSoft, out of South Korea)
Dark Age of Camelot (EA Mythic)
Anarchy Online (Funcom, out of Norway)