Monday, April 13, 2009

Network Effects - Collaboration Curve - MMO Serious Game

The Informal Learning Blog by Jay Cross exposes the introduction of the collaboration curve to the learning community in this post.  Cool stuff.  I must admit I became more interested in reading the Harvard Business blog (The Big Shift) post "Introducing the Collaboration Curve.", when I saw the words World of Warcraft.  Expanding the idea of network effects one step further with the collaboration curve is intriguing to me because it puts a name to an idea that we have all been discussing.

The basic idea as it relates to WoW is this...
"It takes roughly 150 hours of accumulated game play to earn the first 2 million experience points but players on average are able to earn another 8 million experience points in the next 150 hours of accumulated game play. Even though, within the game, experience points become more difficult to acquire as you advance, World of Warcraft players are improving their performance four times faster as they continue to play the game."
I can relate because I am now "playing" WoW WITH someone, AND enjoying the benefits of belonging to a Guild (a group of players).  This SIGNIFICANTLY changes the game because it is more fun.  Its more fun because I'm learning more.  I'm learning more because other guild members are willing to share.  And in turn I'm happy to share what I know with others as they enter the game/guild.  This is the basic idea of the Collaboration Curve.  We all become exponentially more productive as we begin to collaborate with more and more people.  Since I get very little time to actually play, my limited time "in-world" has become a lot more productive.

If you are reading this blog post, then my guess is that you have experienced the collaboration curve...and network effects. 

The up side of collaboration MUST be more important than the potential downside of collaboration, right?  Wait...huh?!  There's a downside?  Well, there must be some sort of downside to having productive employees because many prominent organzations do not allow the use of the tools that enhance and support collaborative efforts. 

Other items of interest I found while surfing this topic:
Learning curve
Experience effect

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