Gamers in TSI?
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March 31, 2009 at 2:41 pm #867
Judging from many of your names and the comments made in various posts I would forward the assumption that a large portion of people on these boards are gamers. Not passing judgement, just making an observation.
Afterall… it takes one to know one.
-JasonMarch 31, 2009 at 4:08 pm #5360
Well, gamers seem to be a growing segment of the population these days. Not only that, but I imagine there is at least a slight correlation between playing online games and using message boards. (though it breaks down a bit since there are forums for gardening and any number of non-gaming or technology subjects) Eh. Whatever. I’m sure there are plenty of gamers around in any case.
I was just thinking about this the other day, actually. Not to pick on anyone, but certain mindsets along the lines of ‘having the biggest, baddest guns will solve all our problems’ definitely seem to have some roots in RTS and FPS games. I can relate to that, since I’ve been a big fan of both genres over the years.
I’d consider myself a gamer… but between work, chores, & ‘family time’ my free time is limited. I’ve been leaning toward more creative projects recently, like modifying games (Oblivion) instead of playing them or, more recently, discussing and designing seasteads.
I don’t see this as a negative, as you don’t seem to either, Jason, just an interesting observation. Maybe in 10 years or so we can all meet up for an inter-seastead LAN party (if we’re not all on ClubStead rather than a fleet of smaller steads.April 1, 2009 at 1:16 am #5367
Gaming is going to suck on seasteads unless we can come up with fast internet connectivity. This is a big issue for seasteading in general, not just for playing games. We need to be properly connected. Hermit seasteading (while certainly viable for those so inclined) is not a mass market.April 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm #5381
I could hermit it I guess. I’d prefer to see a satellite internet hit some decent speeds.
On the flipside of the arguement is that games don’t need super-fast internet connections if configured correctly. Let the individual machines do most of the processing and keep those variables that require real time communication to a minimum.
I grew up with consoles but quickly came to love old school paper and pencil formats. Online they became MUDs and the like, Play by E-mail, forum based Play by Posts, etc. Though I enjoy a good FPS as much as the next guy (Fallout 3 preferred) I go more for the strategy and RPG markets.
-JasonApril 1, 2009 at 8:51 pm #5388
On the flipside of the arguement is that games don’t need super-fast internet connections if configured correctly
Not yet, anyway:
Although whether this catches on remains to be seen.
And games often require a low ping. I believe satellite connections are often slow like this, as well as having low bandwidth.April 3, 2009 at 3:24 pm #5424
Many people are growing up without siblings, and are flocking to the Internet for community and entertainment. Ripping oneself from that familial structure could be a very difficult proposition. There are plenty of great single player games, true, but the rising generation is finding human interaction easier with a grid of transistors as an intermediary. Facebook and Twitter are quite probably expanding Dunbar’s number, as this “cheap form of grooming” is even easier to perform than speech itself.
To sum up: High speed is great, low ping would be nice to have, but not extremely necessary.
Let the flame war begin.
There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.April 6, 2009 at 1:54 pm #5441
Mmm… if there is a flame war I better go for a cold-spec… increased damage vs. fire users and possibility for a stun or root effect…
Seriously though, I agree with Thorizan. High speed is a must (though everyone has a different idea of what high speed is), at least 1MB download transfer rate would be my preference. Low ping isn’t neccesary but I wouldn’t complain if we could pull this off on the cheap. My only concern is that we would not be self-sufficient if we relied on a land based internet provider. Any tech savvy folks (geeks) know how to get an internet connection without dealing with one of these companies?
-JasonApril 6, 2009 at 6:10 pm #5448
In the middle of the ocean, the only way I can imagine to get this kind of internet access would be via satelite. I’m not sure if the right kind of satellite system is opperational yet to bring costs down. I’ve read articles about an array of non-geosynchronous satellites that would cover most of the planet… but those were published aroun 2006 or earlier, I think, and I’m not sure if service ever started for it. I’m still trying to find updated information.
For now, it looks like “blue-water” internet services start around $1,600/mo for 128 kbps ($5,000/mo for 1024 kbps) plus $0.75 or $1.50 /min. So, at 8 hours a day (on average) you’d be looking at between $12,400.00 and $26,600.00 per month for what I would consider “normal” internet usage. Now, with per-minute rates like that, I doubt I’d be online anywhere near that often. [My source (scroll all the way down, only Vizada on this page services non-costal areas)] If you look at the coverage maps for this particular service, the only areas in international waters are well North of the tropics (shipping lanes of the North Atlantic and North Pacific), which isn’t really where I want to be.
“The right kind of system” that I referred to earlier was along the lines of Iridium, Globalstar, Orbcomm, or Teledesic. I have now found that Teledesic is no longer going into production and I think all the rest went into “Chapter 11 protection” years ago. Iridium still seems to be doing business but I don’t have time to research whether they even have a suitable system for our needs, since they are a ‘voice-centric’ communications company. From what I could find so far, it looks like Iridium would charge about $5.00/MB @ 128kbps max. ($35.00 for 7 pages of this forum, not including posting any replies)
I don’t think there is a way to avoid dealing with land-based companies for internet access without first launching our own system of satelites… That would take $10 billion or more at this point, I think. This is getting to be a pricy discussion. Another option might be to create our own grid of antennas with land-based connections in a variety of countries. Unfortunately, this is also very expensive and inefficient, but it might be more in line with some other ideas on the site. A combination of floating off-shore wind turbine and communications tower would be an option. Unfortunately, if would take hundreds of thousands of extremly tall, extremely stable towers in communication with each other to provide internet access without directly relying on a land-based provider. We would still need permission from several different countries to run fiber optic cables underwater to our internationally based servers and communication towers… but we could technically be independant that way. If one or two countries decide to cut the hard-line on us (or if it accidentally breaks), we’ll still be connected in a few other places. The challenges of solving for all that say in the tower-to-tower communications is another story altogether.April 7, 2009 at 12:15 am #5458
I don’t think there is a way to avoid dealing with land-based companies for internet access without first launching our own system of satelites… That would take $10 billion or more at this point, I think.
What do you think about this idea:April 7, 2009 at 9:14 am #5466
What do you think about this idea:April 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm #5469
I had though about your Convoy Communication Idea, actually.
There are a few problems with the idea in its current form… many of which won’t be solved by my tower idea… but overall it has promise and a use of its own.
First, in order for this to work, 6 or 7 of the seasteads (@30nm) would have to give up their freedom and sail within the territory of another country in order to provide internet service to the rest of the fleet. If political and lifestyle freedom is the goal of most seasteaders how will you convince or choose certain people to give up this freedom, even if temporarily, after the large investment in a seastead? Also, if this is a line of seasteads spaced at 30 miles, the actual range of communication will need to be 35, 40, or even 45 miles just to ensure that a minor drift in 1 or 2 craft won’t break the link.
I’m also not sure that the free WiFi at the waterfront starbucks could handle the traffic of 30 seasteads at once. I jest, but you would still need to set up a connection at every place you plan to pass by during the migration, which might even include paying a service you’re not using while you’re at every other stop on the route. There’s also the problem that you’ll need a transmission capacity that far exceeds your own data requirements. For every webpage you want to load, there are dozens (or hundreds) more that need to be passed through for the benefit of others. So, every seastead would need the capacity for probably 100Mbps, even if you only get to use 5Mbps for yourself. (unless you’re one of the few online during off-peak hours)
I’m thinking that using floating towers could eliminate the need to stay within existing boundaries. You’d just need a commercial backbone grade connection to the internet (which might require a small lease in an existing building) and permission to run an undersea cable straight off shore into international water. If you do this at a dozen locations within a region, you should have enough high speed, high capacity access points to run a convoy peer-to-peer (or Netsukuku) network completely in international waters. If a couple countries cut the hard-line, you should still have at least 1-2 open to get you to the web. At least that way, no one has to give up the autonomy that this project is all about.
It will take quite a while before something like this is even feasible, though, since the cost of a tower (nevermind the server/undersea-fiber-cable) would rival that of a single-family seastead on it’s own. Unfortunately, many people would cling to the land if they couldn’t be assured a stable connection to the net. This is a real problem that will probably need to be solved before there are even 30 seasteads on the water.
One way to offset the cost, if only a little, is to sell access to the signal to passing ships. Cruise ships would stay at a reasonable distance between shore and the towers to make it an alternative they might consider. Fishing boats that can’t afford satellite internet would also likely be interested, especially if the speeds were much greater than existing systems for a comparable (hopefully much lower) price. The market might help solve this one for us, though, if enough business people decide to set up off-shore web servers to host files without driect regulation. They would only need to be convinced to share their internet connection with us by installing wireless transmission equipment. They’d obviously charge us but definitely less than satellite internet would cost.
I also expect that the network would be autonomous from the rest of the internet. So, even if the connection was broken, we’d still have web services available to us. I’m sure, eventually, there will be replacements for current webmail and social networking sites based on seasteading and hosted on the open ocean. Besides, sharing wave and weather data with the community as a whole would be a much more important benefit than updating your status on facebook or twitter, for example.
The NGSO, LEO, planet-wide, high-speed satellite internet would have been ideal for seasteading, though. Since the bandwidth of each satellite needs to be shared between users and the overall system would have to be designed for the much higher population of the land, anyone on the open ocean would get a bigger piece of the pie. Theoretically, this would be more speed for less money than current services… but that’s only if the owners of such a system thought it would be in their own best interests to offer a fixed monthly service fee for unlimted use… which seems quite unlikely. Oh well. Would have been nice.April 7, 2009 at 5:54 pm #5473
First, in order for this to work, 6 or 7 of the seasteads (@30nm) would have to give up their freedom and sail within the territory of another country in order to provide internet service to the rest of the fleet. If political and lifestyle freedom is the goal of most seasteaders how will you convince or choose certain people to give up this freedom, even if temporarily, after the large investment in a seastead?
Passing through a countries 200 mile “exclusive economic zone” does not require you to “give up your freedom”. We could stay outside the 12 mile limit and there is no trouble for someone passing through.
Also, the whole line holds their relative positions as they move along, so different seasteads will be close to land at different times with each taking a turn. So if they want to get part of the benefit they have to do part of the job.
Another idea that a number of people are working on is using high flying airplanes or blimps to act as communications relays. This could work well for us too.April 7, 2009 at 6:58 pm #5474
The recent attempt to harness wind with rotating blimps may have a side benefit of being the communication relays like such a system would need. It provides your power… and your internet. Win, win.
There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.April 7, 2009 at 11:03 pm #5477
When I read the subject, I thought immediately of Dungeons & Dragons. That’d be easy enough to play on a seastead. No internet required.
Granted, I run a chat-based game of D&D via IRC every weekend. The game is set entirely underwater; merfolk, locathah, and sea elves being the core races.
It does make one wonder about social forms of entertainment, though. In my mental image of a seastead there would be a theater, tavern, gym, and other places for people to gather.April 8, 2009 at 1:38 am #5484
This discussion is hilarious, although somewhat silly; we don’t even have a ton of concrete in water and we’re already discussing who’s gonna host the floating city’s dedicated server for Left 4 Dead!
But seriously, I’m sure if there is a demand some smartass entrepreneurs will just buy a bunch of off-the-shelf WiFi routers, case them in small standalone solar/battery powered repeater stations and make a killing on you guys’ addictions…
Well, at least until someone steps up to give him a run for his profit margins.
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