Via the Mobile Community Design weblog comes an interesting presentation on some of the social issues for online gaming (unfortunately, the slide show is IE only). There’s a basic overview of some of graph theory, and heavy emphasis on human social networks as graphs, and how you can exploit and support said networks for your game.
Some fascinating slides in the presentation, chock full of information: “In 1974 Granovetters ‘Getting a Job’ found that you get most jobs from weak ties, not strong ones, because weak ties inhabit other clusters and therefore have different information”, the relative size of US cities have been constant since the 1900s, and the actual degrees of separation, from a 1967 experiment, is 5.5, not 6.
I wish I could have gone to the presentation, since I agree with Mike Clark: “bulletware isn’t the content of [the] presentation”, and I’m sure the speaker had plenty of interesting explication of his slides. If nothing else, though, the five pages of bibliography should provide plenty of future reading material.
(Also, check out the Internet timeline for images of the Internet’s growth and more neat graphs.)