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4/13: “Hype and Conquer: A Computational Model about Winning in the Platform Wars”

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CSS Seminar
Friday, April 13
3-4pm
Center for Social Complexity/3rd floor Research Hall

The CSS seminar speaker for Friday, April 13th will be André L’Huillier, CSS PhD Candidate. André’s talk is entitled “Hype and Conquer: A Computational Model about Winning in the Platform Wars” (abstract below). The talk will be followed by a Q&A session along with light refreshments.

Abstract: Platform business models like Ali-Baba or Google are disrupting many industries while displaying a “winner-takes-all” behavior. The disruption has been increasing during the last decade thanks to the digital revolution. Although the digital transition is relatively new and is catalyzing the creation of platform markets, it is not new for the video game market. The game industry has dealt with platform dynamics since its very beginnings during the mid 70’s. This long history allows the study of its overall life cycle and the individual cycles of platform generations (a set of competing platforms with similar technology), and specific platforms or games. Understanding how a blockbuster emerges in the market provides insight into the behavior of current and near-future developments of platforms. Uneven competition and its volatility of multi-sided organization have captured the attention of economists and entrepreneurs; specifically, they have focused on the “launching problem” and achieving critical mass adoption. Depending on the goods and services, uncertainty on a product’s performance may force actors to prioritize indicators such as trust and perceived quality. In the case of the video game industry, producers and consumers actions lead towards a “winner-takes-all” or “winner-takes-most” structure. Within the video game market, only a handful of consoles and games emerge as blockbusters and sustain cultural and financial dominance. I will present a computational model that portrays the home console industry as a multi-sided market based on platform economics and individual level social influence and decision making. A rule-based model is presented to reproduce the main behavior of different heterogeneous actors, allowing to understand the moving parts of platforms’ blockbuster emergence. The model studies the influence of mass media and peer-to-peer information in platform and software adoption; focusing on the networked diffusion of information and indirect network effects of actors’ decisions.

This session will be live-streamed on the newly created CSS program YouTube channel. For announcements regarding this and future streams, please join the CSS/CDS student and alumni Facebook group.

For a list of upcoming and previous seminars, please visit our calendar.