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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  2004

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING 2004

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Subject:

Re: Locative Gaming: Dawn of the Zombie Cyborgs

From:

marc <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

marc <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 21 Apr 2004 01:36:17 +0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (92 lines)

This discussion on locative zombies has continued on the <locative
list> --hosted on the a RIXC server (below is one of the last posts)...
For those of you who are interested, you can check out at the archives
for yourself or subscribe to the list at the following address
<http://base.x-i.net/mailman/listinfo/locative>
M



karlis wrote:

> But now, hopefully, with our fanciful mobile technologies, our lives
> can become the real medium for play. This, if anything, is what I want
> to encourage - not docile automatons engaged in even more somnambulant
> fantasy play during their waking hours, but a re-engaging of our lives
> and our environment with the tools that prior had only been available
> in fantasy games, military environments
> or university libraries. You become your own avatar in a historical
> fantasy based on the present and as vast and complex as the world
> itself. It is possible that a schema for a re-engaging game will be
> developed, but this game will not be about shooting virtual robots or
> chasing imaginary VR bio-zombies. Rather, it requires that the
> imagination on a personal level reconceptualize our lives as the game,
> fun for the duration of play as well as with concrete and meaningfully
> rewarding "levels" to surpass that are more than symbollic victories;
> that they should actually change our lives and our world for the
> better, physically or spiritually.

then ryan wrote:

> This sounds very much like something Jane McGonigal would say. I
> wonder if Karlis is familiar with the Go Game?

then karlis wrote:

> I'd definately say that the gogame is in the right direction; although
> not having played it, it looks much better than the "battlebot" stuff
> we're used to seeing.  I think some purist part of
> me would still find stuff to rail about.
> "As a player you may be a sleuth, a superhero, a saboteur, or all
> three. It all depends on, well, you. We at Go Game Central devise a
> diverse range of activities to suit everyone's interests, aspirations,
> strengths, and weaknesses. We beam these "missions" to your team and
> you, like any good super-human, are to complete them with wit,
> cunning, and creativity."
> The concept of assigned "missions" still to me seems like a simple
> rule set.  A "simple rule set" may be relatively complex (like
> Everquest, with microeconomies, etc) but they are simple in that they
> are not open-ended but have discrete succeed or fail criteria and a
> centralized game-structure command.
> I'm not an expert gaming critic like Jane, and gogame does address the
> sterility and abstractness of the conventional locative gaming fare to
> which my polemic was directed , but it seems possibly fickle
> like the flashmob phenomenon, that is, self-contained in it's
> relevance.  Perhaps anything else has too slow or insignificant rate
> of response to be considered a game?  I'm thinking just now about
> the scientific hoax as game (piltdown man), or grassroots activist
> campaign as game, for examples.  Does this dilute the concept of game
> as opposed to just "things to do in your life", or does it offer a
> different level of evaluation when considering a "win" condition?

I think that participants can choose to perceive these activities as
games, and that to do so may be useful for providing the motivation to
"continue playing." The potential for certain kinds of games to
literally change the world is something that Jane is looking at quite
closely. She has some interesting quotes from Go Game players who claim
that they have a different understanding of their power to create change
in their local neighborhoods as a result of playing the game. I'm sure
she can comment on this far more eloquently than me.

Another thing to consider is simulation. There are games out there for
simulating everything from running conferences to running political
campaigns. When you consider that very similar software is used by the
people who are actually running real campaigns in order to test out new
platforms, etc. the line between game and "reality" seems thin indeed...
are anti-terrorism drills games? Is America's Army a game?

saul wrote:

> that's the problem, then, with lots of the techno-centric
> 'location-based' games - they're hermetic, rather than adaptive, and
> can only simplify existing spatial / interpersonal relations, rather
> than allow these relations to extend, split, twist and reform - which
> is why so many people are into playing 'real life'.

Saul really nails the point here. Getting past the current
state-of-the-art for locative games will require new definitions of
"game," just as pervasive computing, GIS and location-sensing tech are
changing our definitions of "real life."

Ryan

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