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News posts tagged "Six Degrees of Smash"

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by nealdt Dec 4 2008, 3:57PM

We've quietly added a few minor features to All is Brawl over the past few weeks that we never got around to alerting the users about. Some were mentioned mere hours before the Great Crash of '08 and thus were lost when the site was restored; others were either too minor to make a news post about or slowly evolved from a proof-of-concept feature to a finalized product that we're only now mentioning. Here's a few of the items that may have gone under your radar until now:

  1. Dropped beach balls will only be picked up by users who have visited the site in the last 72 hours. Make sure to drop by every day to increase your chances of picking one up!
  2. Tournament polls can only be voted on by people who are planning to attend.

  3. You can rearrange the order your badges are displayed on your profile by going to the Me->Edit Profile->Badges menu. (Might not work with all browsers.)

  4. The "free cancel" time on ladder matches has been reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes. You only have 3 minutes to cancel your match without penalty once it has been accepted; after that, you will need to file a cancellation request as usual.

  5. Ladder overall rankings update once every 3 hours to reduce strain on the server. Your personal Skill level will update immediately after each match you report, but your overall ranking will not reflect your new ranking until the next scheduled update.

  6. A Six Degrees of Smash network analyzer has been added! With this tool you can test for links between any two players in the Six Degrees of Smash web. Check out the link provided if you aren't sure what that is!
Yes, this is what I was referring to on Wednesday's update.

The six degrees of separation theory states that any two human beings on earth are seperated by at most six personal relations: a friend, a relative, a lover, the mailman. Bastardized by the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game (and soon to be further perverted here at All is Brawl!), the theory has never been proven but makes an interesting social experiment either way.

I'd like to introduce my take on the theory, an experiment/project only possible through All is Brawl's unique tournament tracking systems. With the uninspired name "The Six Degrees of Smash," this project aims to track the connections in our community based on tournament matches. I've given a special six degrees badge to a dozen members in the community, who we will call "seeds." Each time a seed plays someone in a tournament, their opponent will be awarded the six degrees badge with a "hop count" of 1; this indicates how "far" the player is from one of the seeds. The next person to meet that account in a tournament will get the badge with a hop count of 2, and will then in turn spread it to everyone they subsequently play. You won't spread the badge if you have a hop count of 6 -- hence the entire idea behind the theory! -- but at least you'll be connected.

Eventually we'll be able to use this data to map exactly how you connect to the rest of the community. For example, had this experiment been running since I entered the Melee scene, you could draw this connection between myself and Host of the Month Ankoku, who lives 2000+ miles away in Michigan:
  1. I lost to Ken in doubles at Champ Combo
  2. Ken lost to PC Chris at MLG Meadowlands
  3. PC Chris beat Mikey Lenetia at *Pound* 2
  4. Mikey Lenetia beat Ankoku at University of Michigan Biweekly 1

Pretty neat, huh?

In true All is Brawl fashion, tracking this data involves a special badge and some rules for passing it on:
  • Any time you link your account to a tournament entrant, we'll check to see if any of your opponents have the Six Degrees badge. If they do -- AND the tournament in question was in person and took place after your opponent earned his/her badge, AND your opponent's hop count is 5 or fewer -- then you'll get the badge too!
  • Similarly, if you have the badge, and the above criteria are met, you'll pass the badge on to everyone you faced.
  • The important thing to note here is this is for in person tournaments only. The whole point is to see how our personal connections relate; expanding it to online tournaments just doesn't make sense!

Progress will be slow, at first, but as more people earn the badge we'll start seeing some interesting connections, especially once Brawl starts seeing some national-level tournaments this summer.

I'm hoping this will be a fun, silly way to bring our community together and eventually help us see just how special the personal connections we make really are. *sniff* Should be fun!