June 3rd, 2010

Fantasy to Save the World

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

If I told you about the WWF introducing a “fantasy” game, you’d probably start wondering things like when to draft HHH, right?

Well, just about any male younger than 40 (and plenty who are older) can probably tell you that the abbreviation applies only to the World Wildlife Fund, which has launched an online game to help people learn how to lower carbon emissions.

In alliance with Allianz, the WWF has rolled out CEO2. The game casts the user in the role of chief executive and asks you to create strategies that will lower carbon emissions while raising profits.

The task is a bit more serious than deciding which Chicago Bears receiver will catch more passes in a given week, but it’s cool to see the fantasy model applied as a teaching tool — especially to such a significant issue.


Yahoo! Presents Fantasy API

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

A little more than two years after introducing its open-source platform — Yahoo! Open Strategy (or Y!OS) — Yahoo! has finally introduces a fantasy sports open API.

Many (perhaps most) of our readers probably already know what an application programming interface, but of the less tech-savvy folks like me, it gives outsiders access to coding and other “rich data” within the Yahoo! system that allows you to build your own tools for helping within Yahoo! fantasy games.

“You’ll be able to use this data to build non-commercial tools and applications that help analyze draft results, review free agents, optimize current rosters, and more,” Yahoo! says on the profile page for this new API.

Yahoo! has been rolling out APIs for other portions of its online universe since April 2008 and was receiving requests for such a fantasy offering at least as far back as 2004.

MyFantasyLeague.com has long offered a similar interface for its fantasy-football functionality, a practice that has led to the development of applications such as the Lineup Coach and Draft Coach that led to a business partnership with Tony Holm and FantasySharks.com.

Yahoo!’s fantasy portal is the most-trafficked on the Web, and developers have taken recent cracks at building iPhone apps to streamline mobile access to these games. It’ll be interesting to see how much builds from this open API and how quickly tools might find their way into mass consumption.