Hello Steemians, I'm Neil! Early crypto enthusiast and activist for decentralization

in introduceyourself •  2 years ago

Hi everyone!

My name is Neil Haran and I am the video gaming lead developer for Peerplays. I am also a passionate advocate for the decentralization of government and the return to local farming and self-sustainability. Today I would like to share with you a bit about my background, as well as my vision for the future of peer-to-peer technology in the gaming sector.

my picture

I've been in video game development since 2002. Early on, I worked on several major titles including Simpsons Hit & Run, Hulk, and Scarface. Then in (2008), I joined up with the social gaming company called Zynga.

Working at Zynga taught me how to build addictive games to capitalize upon gamers weaknesses and make them pay $$. I’m not going to sugar coat this, it was brutal. I sold my soul for a buck. Everyday my product manager would give us a new set of features that we were to implement in order to get people trapped in an addictive cycle called a “compulsion loop”. The basic idea was to get users addicted to the process by compelling them towards a basic action followed by another and then collecting a reward. Eventually the player is addicted and doesn’t realize they’re trading their precious time and money for useless points and trinkets within the game.

I watched with disgust while the greed and cynicism drove the entire process to greater and greater heights. How bad did it get? Well, in later years they had to cover it up by giving it a more politically correct name. Thus, the “engagement loop” was born.

I’m not proud of what we did at Zynga and after a couple of years I’d had enough. In 2010 I decided to start my own game company, called inEarth (not active anymore). Here, we sought to find ways of combining gameplay with the teaching of basic skills such as physics, geometry, and coding. Since most educational games had a certain stigma (namely that they were not very fun to play), we needed something that would really blow people away. This led us to designing Rawbots:

The premise to Rawbots was simple: build your robots like legos, program them, and battle. Initially the project was very ambitious, but the learning curve a bit too steep for the average person to play. We subsequently ran out of funds and were unable to continue development. Nevertheless, to this day there is still a tight-knit community of a few thousand players.

Just a side note, one idea we have been floating around recently is the notion of using Rawbots as a prototype proof-of-concept in order to demonstrate some of the features that the Peerplays decentralized marketplace will offer to MMO games, like the ability for players to buy and sell their awesome Rawbots which they have built from scratch. I will link free copies of the Rawbots game at the end of this post, so please check it out if you are interested in learning more about it.

Anyways, fast forward to around 2011, when I first discovered a new digital currency called Bitcoin. It was exciting, we were studying the code, reading papers written by this guy called Satoshi Nakamoto. The blockchain held many promises, and I knew I needed to figure out how to bridge this new technology into the world of gaming.

For the next few years, several blockchain projects followed bitcoin. New proof-of-work and proof-of-stake algorithms were popping up everywhere and although they were fun to watch, I had yet to see a platform that would be scalable to the level needed to support a fully blockchain-based gaming ecosystem.

Then in late 2015, a new technology called Graphene was built by a team of brilliant coders called Cryptonomex. Although it was given primarily to the BitShares community to use, they also opened up the code repository under a standard MIT license. This led to the development of Steemit and the STEEM blockchain. It has also laid the foundation for Peerplays, a brand new gaming platform that will completely revolutionize the gaming industry

At a basic level, with Peerplays anyone will be able to earn money or tokens by capitalizing on their own skills, rather than wasting time and energy in an endless “compulsion loop”. This means if you are skilled at business (game hosting, advertising, networking), mathematics (building, designing, coding), social (tutoring, teaching, sharing), financial (trading, merchandising, market making) or tactile (live gaming), Peerplays will align you with others to incentivize the creation and capitalization of value. Furthermore, teaching and learning these skills will likely become part of building a successful career in the future. All it takes is an internet connection and the will to learn.

So how will all of this revolutionize the gaming industry? Well, just like Steemit, once people discover that they can get paid to interact and contribute, why would they ever go back to their old platforms? When they begin to ask themselves wouldn’t I rather be playing a game that earns me money?... I don’t think it will take very long for this idea to catch on.

Before I wrap up my intro, I just want to mention that I am also an ambassador for another Graphene/BitShares based project called “Follow My Vote”, which is focused on bringing government elections online in a provably fair way. https://followmyvote.com/ambassadors/

And for your enjoyment, here's a talk I did early this year for the SAFE network:

Thanks for checking out my post :). I am really happy to have found you guys and am looking forward to the great things we will build together!

Neil

Free copies of Rawbots:

Windows:
Dropbox - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/38744980/rawbots_windows_0_1_4.zip
Google Drive - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B42Wtrlp8xi9VGQ4VGxqSVNYN2s
Torrent - https://kat.cr/rawbots-windows-0-1-4-t12391367.html

Mac:
Dropbox - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/38744980/rawbots_1.4_mac.zip

Linux (may or may not work):
Yandex (folder) - https://yadi.sk/d/W906cTEK6-ERw/Rawbots%20Latest/Linux

There are quite a few tutorials on YouTube, but here are a couple:


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Hello Neil. I'm happy to have invested a couple of BTC in the Peerplays coin (pre) sale you recently completed, and am excited to see how your project develops.

Anyone interested in learning about the project or owning the crypto currency behind Neil's project, I can highly recommend taking a little time and readings more into it on;

www.peerplays.com

You can also purchase Peerplays on Bitshares exchange, or wait for the ICO late this year..

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Good job hisnameisolllie! I am looking forward to listening to you shout from the rooftops! :D

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Hi Ollie, glad to have you on board! We're all very excited about peerplays as well, it is an activism goal of mine to change the gaming industry for the better. After our initial projects, I think players are going to come to expect more from games they play in general.

I am so damn (yes I cussed) pumped for this...

I much rather realize that I'm betraying my soul then never realizing that I lack a conscience. So it's not so bad after all. It takes courage to admit those things and I applaud you for that!

Welcome to steemit! It's a great platform and you will love it here!

You going to d10e on July 19-20?

Hi there! You're involved in quite a few awesome projects! I've studied into some of them so I'll ask if you're keeping any logs on the local farming / sustainability initiative? I'm doing one here that I'm coining decentralized urban farming - I could use pointers, I think we have underestimated the difficulty in keep efficient bartering and local market prices, etc.

Keep in touch :)

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I'm keeping a few notes, I'll have to admit, the farming project is taking a while to get off the ground. The key I'm seeing is to have an ecosystem going (the right mix of flowers, having bees, having an aquaponics system to a proper composting system). I'm interested in learning more about your project, it sounds like you're creating a full community, which is really cool.

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I've had zero knowledge on farming prior to this and I agree, it takes time to learn up about these things - there's really no clear cut right and wrong way of doing it. We're currently just doing a small test run with a couple dozen of homes smacked right in our residential area. I've written about the core concepts and wish to have it open soon for anyone else to replicate. You can read it here: https://steemit.com/farming/@kevinwong/decentralized-urban-farming--growing-food-at-home-made-easy

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That's cool! Thanks for sharing, I'll check out your approach.

This was one design we had come up with for a community living approach.
maslows garden

maslows garden

The space in the middle was as a result of laws around having multiple dwellings on a single property (since subdivision is expensive).

Each person has a portion of the large outer greenhouse and with this approach, each member is responsible for their part of the greenhouse upkeep. This was just a preliminary design, there are some problems with this approach I'm sure.

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Oh man this is interesting! I wish I know more about this kinda plans to give a useful input! Is it rather expensive to set up something like this? Looks like a useful addition for the mini blockchain-enrichment hubs we're setting up around here.

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Well, the whole structure could be done with domes. The domes could be constructed cheaply if you build a large dirt mound, put a tarp over it and pour concrete around the whole thing (and then dig the dirt out). It would still come to about $1.5 million for the whole thing. But since there are 20 divisions, you could raise the money from people who want to live there.

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Maslows garden, what a clever name!

"I watched with disgust while the greed and cynicism drove the entire process to greater and greater heights. How bad did it get? Well, in later years they had to cover it up by giving it a more politically correct name. Thus, the “engagement loop” was born"
I'm not surprised at all and you confirm my worst suspicions about how the world is being run.
I'm happy that you're here contributing your wealth of knowledge. Steemit certainly needs people like you. Welcome.

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It got pretty bad :) Drove me to a depression. But I'm glad I went through that experience, it helped me realize that this planet and all living things within it are much more valuable than any amount of money.

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Yes I had a similar experience in a different industry: car sales. The environment was so thick with greed that I became physically and mentally ill within it. Now that I'm a science and tech writer, I've recovered and have a sense of purpose. Greed is a terrible disease.

Glad to see someone of your caliber join the community :-)

Wow, really incredible story. It seems like Peerplays and Steemit are very similar in the base tenets, and that both are going to take off. Also I just finished my university degree focusing on returning to local farming and food sovereignty, and would love to share ideas on the subject via Steemit in the future!

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Thanks! I loved reading your intro as well. Hope to read more about your farming endeavours and in the process inspire me to continue my farming goals :)

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Thanks so much! That's the best part about Steemit for me - getting inspired and building off of other people's posts and stories :-)

Can confirm; Downloaded a Zynga Game and lost a few hours of my life. It was willingly done though.

I think that what you are describing, a form of gaming/entertainment that educates and provides some level of inherent takeaway is excellent. One of the things that caught my mind as I found myself driving to work each day is that the music played on the radio is ridiculously geared towards partying and other mundane 'compulsory' repetitions. I contrasted this with a CD that I played for my three year old - They Might Be Giants, "Here Comes Science." It's a brilliant catchy album that essentially makes learning facts pretty fun...the music is awesome and I think we need way more of that in todays world - I think it would be okay to listen to hip hop rappers rhyming the periodic table or dropping equations.

So I can totally support the idea of making a gaming system that reinforces and makes learning addictive. I think that is awesome and I am looking forward to seeing what you have in store!

I haven't heard of Follow My Vote. I am familiar with BitNation and have been keeping up with them as I think that it is a natural progression of Blockchain tech. Will definitely check out FMV. Thanks for posting...

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Also, Props to The Safe Network!

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"I think it would be okay to listen to hip hop rappers rhyming the periodic table or dropping equations."
I agree!

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Glad to have your support on this. I'd die a happy man if learning could be made fun and free.

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In my day to day life, it is something that I thought would be relegated to my family. I'm pretty excited to see that this might be something that can expand beyond that. Excitedly looking forward...

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This is what I was talking about...this kind of media is a part of what we should be pushing for...

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And the follow up to that song was brilliant...because it shows that the Scientific Method is valid.

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To say that I am excited and waiting to see how I can contribute is an understatement...:)

I watched 18 minutes of your Google hangout. I must say, I learned a lot. Thank you for that. If POW and POS are not ideal models, what is?

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I've thought about this for a long while, one concept I am working on right now is proof of human play. The basic idea is, people play games that help secure the network and they get paid to do so in the process. But the obvious problem, AI bots. So the game has to be one that only humans can play (or play much better than AI).

Dude you're awesome,Go World!

hi my name is dragonslayer109 ,I am a gamer and the idea of getting money for playing games is a huge thing in the gaming communities. Many games have taken the direction of youtube and recording their games. Main problem is they cant get enough views on the videos and recordings they make. I will be posting more about this topic so please have a look.

http://www.rouleth.com/
How long it will take Peerplays can make site similar to this?