2006-03-24

Battlefield2 sigs as a web 2.0 service

Recently I have been tinkering with a personal sig for the PC game Battlefield2. When you play the game on a ranked server, the stats of your session are logged and archived. You can compose an image and include a selection of these stats on dedicated web sites for BF2 sigs. Once you have created a sig on the site, you can attach that under your postings on BF2-related forums.

For example this sig uses an image of apache longbow attack helicopter found with http://images.google.com/, and on top of that there is displayed the player nick and rank, general scores, kill/death ratio, times, kills and rankings for certain vehicles/weapons, and finally pictures of badges, ribbons and medals you can earn when your stats are good enough. The sig was created at http://img.tehsig.com/

Web 2.0 is a marketing term endorsed by O'Reilly Associates, and can be taken to mean anything. A part of my interpretation is that currently there is evolving a free service ecosphere in the web, where users provide services to each other using various engines. For example the sig sites give you an editable profile where you can define the layout and data in your sig using a special markup language. thesig.com apparently parses your ML with PHP, then does some magic and produces a .jpg image (which is updated as new stats come available). The user can then link to this image from his signature on various web forums - for example with clan forums like ESAD - and gain virtual egoboo in the gamer community. The catch here is that the publisher of the game - Electronic Arts - benefits from this kind of community services as part of its revenue on Battlefield2 comes from licensing ranked server software.

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