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Jane McGonigal

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ARG Slides and Graveyard Games, NYC

Jane McGonigal recently gave a design-track lecture called Alternate Reality Gaming: Experimental Social Structures for MMOs at the Austin Game Conference. “The unofficial title of the talk was “Too weird for GDC.” Also, the culmination of the talk was a lively 100-person game of massively multiplayer thumb wrestling. The slides are now posted here.” [Related]

On Saturday November 5, 2005, Jane’s Graveyard Games will be in New York City so you can meet the living and play with the dead. You’re invited rain or shine to BrooklynÂ’s own Cypress Hills Cemetery to get to know your local dearly departed, pay your respects, and learn Tombstone Hold ‘Em — the secret poker game you can only play in a cemetery. Continue reading


Nov 3, 10:13
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idades

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Virtual Ball Game

idades–by Antonio Urquijo de Simón, Carolina Padilla Villarraga, Daniel Desiderio Páez Castillo, Jordi Puig Vilà and Philip Morris–is a communication network of installations placed in transit spaces. In each of them, a spectator can recognize his or her simulated silhouette projected onto a screen and discover that his or her movements effect the trajectory of a virtual ball that bounces as it touches the edges of the silhouette. This triggers a game played by the body of the spectator, along with other passersby who enter the visual field of the camera.

The ball acts as an “interconnection device” which, as it collides virtually with the body of the players, promotes in them a corporal response to keep it in movement. The installation includes a camera used as a sensor, a computer connected to the camera that cuts the image of the people, a projector that displays the game, situated behind the interaction zone, and a screen, displayed in such a way as to ensure the normal circulation of people. Showing at the FILE Festival in São Paulo, through November 20, 2006. [blogged by Regine on we-make-money-not] Continue reading


Nov 2, 11:46
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Real-life video games

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Faux Kidnappings

Artist Brock Enright is notorious in the US as the man who performs “bespoke executive kidnappings” for $1,500 a time. Every abduction is tailored to the phobias of each “victim” to offer “maximum terror”. Enright’s activities reach beyond acts of abduction, his Video and Adventure Services company to offer tailormade products that shamelessly explore personal perversions.

While kidnapping dominates perceptions of his company, VAS offers a host of “customised reality adventures”, or real-life video games. “Some people are lonely and want to make friends,” says Enright. Some people want to be stalked, others want “to feel like they’re slowly going crazy”. After drawing up legal contracts detailing what they can and can’t get away with, VAS bring these fantasies to life, with the help of actors and locations. His Raising Dead Mothers show is at the Vilma Gold gallery, London E2, until October 16. [The Guardian]. Continue reading


Oct 14, 12:52
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Lineage II

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Computer Characters Mugged in Virtual Crime Spree

“A man has been arrested in Japan on suspicion of carrying out a virtual mugging spree by using software “bots” to beat up and rob characters in the online computer game Lineage II. The stolen virtual possessions were then exchanged for real cash.

The Chinese exchange student was arrested by police in Kagawa prefecture, southern Japan, the Mainichi Daily News reports.

Several players had their characters beaten and robbed of valuable virtual objects, which could have included the Earring of Wisdom or the Shield of Nightmare. The items were then fenced through a Japanese auction website, according to NCsoft, which makes Lineage II. The assailant was a character controlled by a software bot, rather than a human player, making it unbeatable. Continue reading


Sep 27, 12:05
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The Hunt for Mr. X:

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Bringing a Board Game to the Street

“Scotland Yard” is a popular board game in Europe, where players have to catch Mr. X. Mr. X moves hidden through the streets of London. He has to show his location every 4th turn. The detectives know which kind of transportation he uses. With this information they have to figure out his position and surround him. When the detectives catch him, they win, if Mr. X escapes he wins.

Bringing the game to the street: transformation into a live action game 4 groups with 4 players hunt Mr. X and Mr. Y in the old city of Berne. Hunting by MMS: Every ten minutes, Mr. X sends a picture of his current location. The detectives have to identify the position by the pictures and find Mr. X. They catch Mr. X by taking a picture of him.” From The Hunt for Mr. X: Bringing a Board Game to the Street [PPT] by Niklaus Moor (Swisscom Innovations). [via techkwondo] [Related]


Sep 19, 11:51
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Career Moves

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Players Can Create Their Own Semantic Systems

Career Moves–by Mary Flanagan–explores the contradictory world of women in corporate America through an interactive, computer controlled board game. Work is a troubling condition internationally for all women. Women represent 50 per cent of the world adult population and one-third of the official labour force, but they perform nearly two-thirds of all work hours, receive one-tenth of the world income and own less than 1 per cent of the world’s property…

This commercial style is intended as a critique of the historical sequence to which the popular board game belongs: many games have traditionally supported social “norms,” including heterosexuality, consumerism, and especially non-liberatory positions for women. However, as players progress down the board, it becomes clear that it is they themselves who are determining the rules of the game, and the collective and individual goals become apparent…
Continue reading


Aug 24, 10:12
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floating eye

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mission: engage playful imagination

Jenny Marketou’s Flying Spy Potato mission-based reality game sends the player into a demarcated section of the urban environment with a tethered weather balloon equipped with a networked cam that transmits wirelessly via radio receiver back to the gallery where the video from the floating cam is both logged and projected.

The game objective is for each player to complete their mission which contributes toward the collective capturing of the game board.


May 30, 17:05
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Alternative Realities in Networked Environments

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A Comprehensive Medium for Exploring Emotions

The Alternative Realities in Networked Environments [ALTERNE] working group has completed the project and the results are being transferred to a new web site. The ALTERNE project objective was to construct an Alternative Reality platform to support the development of digital, interactive and participatory artistic activities. We define Alternative Reality as a generalization of Virtual and Mixed Realities beyond the common “space-based” simulation. The aim of the technical development is to extend the current techniques of Mixed Reality to support the more advanced experimentation with reality and virtuality that are required by the process of artistic creation. While traditional Virtual Reality essentially addresses the construction of visually realistic synthetic worlds, ALTERNE supports additional layers that will make it possible to explore other concepts such as: causality, relations between time and space, alternative laws of physics, alternative life forms, etc., in a more radical fashion.
Continue reading


May 25, 12:16
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Pervasive Game Development Today

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24/7 Immersion

“…Pervasive gaming was first the vision of Swedish company It’s Alive!, meaning location-based games that surround you, 24 hours a day, everywhere. When you walk down the street, you’re walking through an adventure world draped on top of the real world, and people you meet may be characters in the same game you’re playing. Pervasive games are built upon three core technologies: mobile devices, wireless communication, and sensing technologies that capture players? contexts. It is actually the blend of technologies combined with the location-based and often public nature of game play, gives pervasive games their distinctive identity [Bridging the Physical and Digital in Pervasive Gaming].” From Pervasive Game Development Today by Fabien Girardin.


Mar 25, 14:10
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The Matrix Online

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Actors Hired to Live In-World

“This is amazing news: The Matrix Online is employing 20 ‘actors’ – live humans – to live in-world, interact with players and create storylines.

Since the close of the beta, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced that it has employed a troupe of 20-odd people whose job it will be to enact narrative scenarios in The Matrix Online live. These people will assume the roles of popular characters, interact with players, and generally move the stories in ways that only live “actors” can. And though it appears that the story hasn’t officially commenced, a few players on the Method server were treated to a pretty slick sample of it this afternoon: an extended pep-talk by none other than Morpheus himself.” [via Wonderland]


Mar 25, 14:02
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