Armchair Scientist Blog Thoughts on an open internet (and IRC!)

How IRC can change the world

A list of ways IRC can be utilised to replace closed systems;

Game networks and friend lists

I was reading this reddit comment about developers moving away from Steam as a content delivery platform. It ended with the sentence:

I hope everyone loves having 6-10 logins, friends lists, etc. because that's the land we're in now.

If I made a game, rather than (or in addition to) using my publisher's friend system (like Steam, or Origin/EA etc), it wouldn't be difficult to build an open system based on IRC.

You give the user an option for IRC details (a server, a channel and a password). You share these details with friends (you could have multiple servers/channels to keep groups seperate if required) and then, each game client that listens/posts to that channel can keep it's friends list updated.

It would be easy to implement/support:

  • Who is online (the nature of IRC shows who has joined/left the channel when they launch their game client)
  • Away status can be used to show what's being played e.g. /away is playing Civilisation IV (click here to request to join)
  • It supports chat, obviously
  • We could develop a convention/standard for invites/alerts that would work cross platform
  • This IRC server could be self-hosted, or a default provided as part of the game client (which would allow larger communities to discover each other)

Problem #5891 solved.

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