IRL Test Phase Incoming

Hello everyone! We haven’t had an update since late November, but this post is here to let you know that we’re still slowly but steadily working on IRL.

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There is also some news: we may be quickly approaching our first open testing phase!

What we’re looking at is tagging aerial images taken post-disaster. More specifically we plan to partner with a group from the Philippines who has been capturing UAV images of the disaster recovery and reconstruction efforts after typhoon Haiyan. This will allow us test our plugin in a controlled environment and hopefully garner some video game developer buy-in. We hope to bring you more in the following weeks.

As always, this project is open to anyone to help and contribute. If you are interested in joining, please feel free to contact us!

CCP Games Typhoon Relief

CCP Games, the developers of EVE online, has re-launched its “PLEX for Good” campaign in response to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. PLEX, which is short for Pilot License Extension, is a usable and tradable in-game item that holds both real-world and in-game monetary value. This campaign is asking players to donate their PLEX, and for each one CCP Games will in turn donate $15 to the Icelandic Red Cross for Typhoon relief in the Philippines.

As of yesterday, players have already donated over $43,000, but CCP Games plans to boost that number with a charity live stream that will occur on December 7th. For different fundraising goals employees are pledging different things, such as receiving tattoos or getting their heads shaved. Previous PLEX for Good campaigns have been very successful, and the company has donated over $150,000 to disaster aid since their first collection in 2004 for the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. You can learn more about PLEX for Good and the charity live stream at this link.

This campaign helps prove that video gamers are a charitable community and that creativity can inspire people to help. Instead of just asking for cash donations, CCP Games decided to have players donate a virtual item to a virtual character within their game. While the end result may be the same, the feeling of doing it is certainly different. And why stop there? We can take the feeling of donating to a whole new level by actually allowing players to make a direct impact on the relief efforts. Giving the opportunity to contribute time instead of money is the logical choice for a video gaming community.

We applaud you CCP Games for your tremendous effort in relief aid. The money that you raise will be a great help to the Philippines during their time of need. We also implore you to go the next step. It’ll be a bold move, and a rewarding one as well.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Update

After a rigorous five days of crisis mapping, volunteers from all around the world made a total of 105,000 individual tags on the MicroMappers applications. These volunteers, from locales such as Belgium, Boston, Kenya, Australia, South Africa, Brooklyn, Canada, France, Spain, Qatar, Germany, the Philippines, Holland, and Denmark among others, sacrificed a small bit of their time because they wanted to do more than just listen to the news. They came together to help; resulting in around 600 relevant tweets and 180 usable images, that were deemed fit to populate the live Crisis Maps. Still as I write, these maps are being used to help with everything from rescue work to damage assessment in the Philippines, and can be seen at this link.

With all of this amazing news, we must realize that this was one of the first instances of volunteer crisis mapping ever conducted. Already, we can see that there is overwhelming proof that people are willing to spend some time to help out a disaster stricken area, “World Wide (Good) Will” as Patrick Meier puts it. These types of responses can only get better: they can be quicker, more accurate, and even more specialized. One day, volunteers will be able to complete complex tasks at the scene of a disaster right from the comfort of their home. For all of this, we recruit the expertise of the video-game community. Together, we know that we would be able to dominate any disaster event, and create a more prepared and victorious world community.

The Internet Response League is still looking for Game Developers to partner with to test our ideas. Please help spread to word to friends, family, and members or your favorite gaming community. Additionally we are looking to build a robust humanitarian-gamer culture. Please read this post to learn more.

IRL and Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Late last week Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck the Philippines. With wind speeds up to 315km/h (195mph), reports are saying that it was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall. Over 1,500 people are feared to have been killed and over half a million individuals have been displaced. As humanitarian agencies and foreign aid have begun to enter the devastated nation, others have been helping out in another manner.

The Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF), with the help of other volunteers, is hard at work tagging tweets and images from the Philippines for a rapid needs & damage assessment, as requested by the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

They are using two apps created by MicroMappers, TweetClicker and ImageClicker, to help with this process, both of which are open for anyone to use. The latter has already been used to tag over 7,000 images and the combined result can be seen at this interactive map.

This is directly the effort which the Internet Response League aims to help out. While the numbers that these two apps are seeing are amazing, they could be much better. The earlier and more complete that these maps are made, the more good that they can do. We need your help to help bring the Internet Response League to gamers everywhere. Wouldn’t you want to be able to say that your online gaming community was directly involved in aiding relief efforts during one of this year’s biggest disasters?

Additionally, if you have the time to spare, please use the above links to help out tagging tweets and images. The effort is still ongoing!

IRL in Search of Artists

“A call goes out around the world. A call to those doing epic quests, to those farming gold, to those ranking up, to those refreshing a website, and to those endlessly shooting each other. A symbol appears in the sky. It is a red cross, but with white lines on each arm, like a d-pad. This message is a rallying call to suspend the fun, for in real life disaster has occurred, and it is up to the denizens of the internet to step forth and help relieve the suffering. Don your armor and let the epic theme into your ears. We need your help to find the weak and give them direction, to locate hazards and mark them brightly, and to steer brave rescuers towards the innocent victims. We need you to join the Internet Response League.”

We believe that one of the cornerstones of creating a successful Internet Response League is to create compelling fantasy dialogue with our members. Video games live in the realm of gripping storylines, fantastic graphics, and epic rewards. While taking an abstract concept and creating fiction is definitely a challenge, we believe that there is definitely a way that the Internet Response League can implement these ideals.

This post is a call to all the talented individuals out there willing to help the cause. We are in need of stories, concept art, and music. The Internet Response League is a call to all able individuals to take arms and help a cause, a crusade if you let it be. Like organizations of the long past, the Internet Response League can come to represent an era. In order to so successfully, its story needs to be rich and fulfilling. A common symbol can help create this result.

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The IRL cross, the red cross with the white stripes on each arm, should be the cornerstone of the movement. Armor, mounts, banners, and logos implementing the IRL cross can stir the hearts players in every game across the internet. Then to match, a story of epic heroes forging a union defending the weak and a theme song to match national anthems. Together the end result can become a force that could change the world. All that is needed now is grandiose imagination.

We hope the Internet Response League to become the intrigue of our day. We will be reaching out to art communities all over in hopes to garner support. If you know of anyone who fits in this category, please let them know. We want artists to draw their characters emblazoned with the IRL cross, musicians to translate the cause into song, and story-writers to chronicle the awaiting tales. We want this effort will be shared by the world, as is the entirety of the IRL. Every individual contribution will create a new vision of the idea, and will be rewarded greatly. As in history, with grand ideas comes great wealth. What kind, only time will tell.

IRL Plugin Demo

As the work on the Internet Response League Plugin continues, we’ve decided to record a video demo, showcasing some of the ideas that we’ve had in development. The video is below for you viewing pleasure.

Please note that this is still a work in progress.If you are interested in helping out, feel free to contact us at our email (contact@internet-response-league.com) or join us at our Google Group (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/internet-response-league).

IRL Introductory Videos

We recently had the opportunity to create videos for a tech convention in Australia, named eResearch Australasia. The videos give a description of some of the ideas behind the Internet Response League, as well as a quick overview of how the humanitarian aid work would look like inside of a game.

We’ve uploaded the videos to youtube and posted them here for your viewing pleasure. Just as a note, the second video is simply a shorter version of the first, omitting much of the background info.


A quick update: The work over at the Internet Response League has been continuing at a good pace. We will have additional posts in the near future to showcase what has been done. If you are interested in helping, just head over to our Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/internet-response-league

See you there!