Tag Archives: MicroMappers

Internet Response League 2.0

Dear gamers,

As we wrote in our previous post, we have a change in store for the Internet Response League. Originally, IRL was conceptualized as an in-game humanitarian aid volunteering platform, that would utilize player rewards to encourage participation. As we see now though, this goal in its entirety is a bit too ambitious.

The idea of housing the IRL platform within games is impractical and unnecessary. Successfully implemented, it would only save the users small amounts of time and effort, yet the trade-offs are steep, mainly for any of IRL’s potential partners.

Video game worlds are specifically crafted to be fun, interesting, and engaging fantasy environments, that keep players coming back for whatever reason. Introducing an outside application, especially one that exposes users to real-world disaster situations, would largely break the fantasy, something which game developers try very hard not to do.  

At first we believed that we could somehow leave the fantasy intact by toying with the game lore or by slightly modifying the humanitarian tasks (see the Eve Online case). We’ve since realized this to be very challenging. The amount of modification needed to have the tasks fit would distort them to a point where the work would no-longer be helpful to aid organizations. Perhaps other types of micro-tasks may yet be implemented successfully (see the work being done by MMOS), but in today’s world global disasters simply have no place inside of people’s play time.

So, we have a solution:

We will modify our website to house the Internet Response League platform, where users will be able to volunteer their time digitally in humanitarian scenarios. We will find game developer partners who will pledge rewards to the users of the IRL platform, who in turn will be able to represent their favorite game.

With this plan, we won’t be intruding on anyone’s play time. Instead we will welcome everyone to come volunteer as they choose, allowing them to gain rewards in their favorite game in the process. We will do our best to spread the word, but we also think that game developers will naturally like to increase their representation, encouraging their users to help out.

We will start building our site and implementing the volunteer tasking system with the help of our partner MicroMappers. See the below mock-up for an idea of how we envision the main page. If you’re interested in helping, feel free to contact us at contact@internet-response-league.com.

Many thanks for reading!

IRLMainPage

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Coconut Challenge + Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby

MicroMappers is launching its expedition to the Philippines. The purpose of this deployment is to assess the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on coconut trees (over 30 million were destroyed by the Typhoon) and thus the impact on local livelihoods. The effort involves using the Aerial Clicker to tag damaged and healthy coconut tree trunks. This will help fight infestations that could potentially wipe out the nation’s entire coconut industry.

In addition, directly after this coconut challenge, MicroMappers will be switching gears to another deployment, dealing with the impact of Super Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby on the Philippines. This typhoon, equally as strong as Typhoon Haiyan, is currently slated to hit the shores Saturday local time. Humanitarian organizations around the world are gearing up in preparation, and there will be multitudes of ways for the digital volunteer to help out.

These two deployments are exactly what the IRL idea focuses on, so any help will directly benefit the development of our concept.

Here is a link to the MicroMappers website, where you can find more information:

http://micromappers.org/

If you are interested in volunteering, here is a direct link to the Aerial Clicker:

http://clickers.micromappers.org/app/MM_RemoteSenseClicker/

The Youtube video on the site will give you a description of how the clicker works, and you can also hit the tutorial on the top right corner at any time.

Questions/comments regarding these deployments or anything else are always welcome. Any volunteering would be deeply appreciated. Thanks!

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.