All your gamers are gold

CoinLab: Tapping the GPU mining potential of gamers.


CoinLab Attracts $500,000 in Venture Capital for Bitcoin Projects

Seattle based Bitcoin startup CoinLab secured a $500,000 investment from various investors such as Silicon Valley firm Draper Associates and angel investor Geoff Entress. CoinLab is an emerging umbrella group for cultivating and launching innovative Bitcoin projects.

CEO Vessenes said ‘if there is a currency that can trade around the world, it’s semi-anonymous, it’s instant, it’s not controlled by government or bank, what’s the total value of that currency? The answer to that is, if it works, it’s gotta be in the billions. It just has to be for all the reasons you might want to send money around the world.’

This type of talk is common from Bitcoin enthusiasts but apparently seasoned investors are starting to agree.

Forbes explains the details of their business plan but in short it has to do with tapping the GPU mining potential of gamers, more specifically gamers of free-to-play games. This would add a new revenue stream for online game companies that are trying to provide free games profitably.

The phrase “Forbes explains the details of their business plan but in short it has to do with tapping the GPU mining potential of gamers” evoked this nicely barbed reply from girlintraining (1395911):

So ‘in short’, they’re going to trojan a video game and turn a bunch of PCs into a botnet to generate bitcoins. But because it’s a business doing this, and not some teenager in his mom’s basement, they’re going to make billions instead of go to jail? That sound about right?

If any other kind of software you ran was doing something in the background other than what you wanted to do, it would be called malware.


Point well made: business or malware? Or both?

About Bitcoin:

Bitcoin is a decentralized electronic cash system that uses peer-to-peer networking, digital signatures and cryptographic proof so as to enable users to conduct irreversible transactions without relying on trust. Nodes broadcasttransactions to the network, which records them in a public history, called the blockchain, after validating them with a proof-of-work system. Users make transactions with bitcoins, an alternative, digital currency that the network issues according to predetermined rules. Bitcoins do not have the backing of and do not represent any government-issued currency.

Bitcoin @ Wikipedia

Naturally, anything to do with the power of money — what I might call “using symbols to make real things obey your will” — is divisive, contentious, and far too complicated to summarize in this blog post.

Is Bitcoin a good thing, a bad thing? A revolution in economics, the byproduct of misplaced good intentions, a barefaced scam? Outright lunacy by fogheaded idealists?

All of these have been proposed; I don’t know the truth, and leave it at that for now.

Game Design with Kids: An Interview with Charley Miller

Charley Miller is a game designer and producer based in New York City.

Avi Solomon recently interviewed Miller for Boing Boing:
Charley Miller

Avi: What surprised you the most in your work with the kids?

Charley: Kids are typically naturals when it comes to game design and it’s easy to understand why: they know what’s fun and all they want to do is playtest. But what might surprise adults is to know that most children these days are able to wrap their minds around complex systems. That might be thanks to the amount of gaming kids are able to enjoy these days.

Avi: What is the best place to start learning about game design?

Charley: To be a designer, you have to be a player first. Start by playing a variety of games and try to deconstruct the experiences. Start asking yourself questions about why the designer choose certain elements and thinking about how systems are working together to create the dynamics of the game. That should get anyone nice and confused but hopefully stirred to know more.

Game Design with Kids: An Interview with Charley Miller