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wow.gifLast week on “Make this!” I mashed up Microsoft’s SPOT technology with MP3 players. This week I’m thinking that the Flickr API could be used to change the way millions of people play MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing games). Here’s the scenario, for those of you who play WoW, you’ll really dig this….

My wife plays World of WarCraft, a lot. One thing I noticed– thousands of people are posting screenshots of their game play, guilds, wardrobes, heck- everything online. They’re always looking for server space, free hosting or something. They’re moblogging the virtual worlds.

How about a Flickr uplaod button -in game-. See something cool? Hit the button, add the tags, designate it to your guild, upload. I suspect this would mean tens of thousands of accounts for a service like Flickr, but on a more macro level, people are going to start moblogging their virtual worlds just as much as the real world, why not use Flickr.

Here’s a screenshot.

wow.jpg

Nokia could sponsor the Matrix online and characters in the game could use a real Nokia phone to post to their photo life blog or something too…

We can talk about sharing playlists and IMing from virtual to real later, but that’s where it’s heading….

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Crystaltips says:

    Fantastic idea, and yes, it has to be flickr – simple, quick, game-agnostic. Rah.

    I’d guess that Microsoft at least will be thinking of integrating Messenger with MMOGs, but it would be a shame again if it weren’t third party, all-games IM. Then there’s the ability to send ‘postcards’ from ingame .. party invites ..

    Uhoh. This list is going to get long.

  2. philliptorrone says:

    ya know- there is a rumor the xbox 2 (360) will have a web camera. they could add this service for real photos as well as in game shots too… post to msn spaces…. well, the race is on- in a short time someone will be touting the first in-game moblogging service!

  3. nelson@monkey.org says:

    You can build this now, with no help from Blizzard. You can already press a button to take in-game screenshots. Write a standalone client that scans the screenshot directory and uploads to Flickr and you

  4. philliptorrone says:

    ideally i’d like to tag the photos with data from in game play, who i’m with, guild and other items. but what you said nelson is a really good idea and could actually be finished in a weekend or so.

  5. TxGeek says:

    If no one has done it yet they better do it soon to establish prior art. If Microsoft is going to include a webcam with the Xbox2 and intend to give their players a capability similar to this they will probably patent it.

  6. williamk says:

    If possible some options like auto-hiding the UI when taking shots would be helpful. I can see a lot of guilds setting up a common flickr pool for all their members to post to. Also things like auto-tagging based on server, guild, party members, location, and date would add lots of metadata without a lot of user intervention in-game. It would make the “picture taking” experience much less intrusive as you are playing.

  7. nelson@monkey.org says:

    WoW lets you hide the UI with Alt-Z. So you can easily set up a macro to both hide UI and take screenshot. My previous comment got truncated, btw. I wrote a tool like I described for City of Heroes. It worked pretty well. Nicer to have an in-game UI, but not essential.

  8. abstrakONE says:

    I’d have to agree, a select-your-folder-and-have-the-app-auto-upload-screenshots-that-WoW-creates
    would be a cool app.

  9. BobFleck says:

    If you play WoW on a Mac, this should be easy to do by hacking up an OS X folder action for Flickr. Just point that AppleScript (or something like it) at your screenshot dir.

  10. BobFleck says:

    The page I linked to in my last comment is probably more complicated than needed. Here’s the script that one was based on.

  11. philliptorrone says:

    i just mention one more virt world / real world scenario. if you’ve ever been to vegas you’ve seen all the video poker and video slot machines with pop culture branding. well, why not start doing mmorpg ones like warcraft and the sims. players can win gold/credits for their virtual players by betting real money and/or they can spend their virtual money from the games in the real world.

    i’d like to see a penny-arcade.com one too!

  12. abstrakONE says:

    It looks as if http://www.turboftp.com/ has a function to watch a particular folder and FTP it up to a server if you dont want to use Flickr. Has anyone come up with a way to do the same but upload to Flickr?