Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pushing the Limits of Play - Game Examples

Yesterday we talked about games that have been pushing the limits of the "magic circle"--the boundaries that prevent gameplay from influencing real life, and vice versa.

Here are links for you to find out more about those games! Feel free to post your thoughts about the potential benefits and possibly negative consequences of pushing any of these specific gameplay limits.

Since we are concentrating this week on the WHY of ubiquitous gaming, how do you explain these specific experiments? How might you account for the desire to push gaming into new spaces, or new social contexts, or new timelines, or new real-world matters?

Pushing the Spacial limits - Where do we play games?
Nintendo DS Skydiving Experiment
You're In Control (Public Urinal Game)

Pushing the Social limits - With whom do we play games? How many can we play with at once?
XBox Live
World of Warcraft

Pushing the Temporal limits - When do we play games, and for how long?

Pushing the Cultural limits - How seriously do we take our games?
America's Army
Super Columbine Massacre RPG


lisatized said...

Making it personal.
My experience with games.

Growing up I wasn't much of a game player. My brother was and he got so far into it that he and his friends where writing their own games and scripts for D&D really early on (paid off for him since he has been making a living programing and creating games for kids), but I always preferred to be outside; hiking, camping, bike riding, traveling, etc. I remember my mom once commenting on how I seemed to need to do all these adventure things to feel alive or something, but she didn't really understand it. Seeing my brother spend days at a time lost in a game never seemed to raise an eyebrow, but seeing me go off to live out of a backpack for months at a time was strange to her.

I now appreciate games for their social aspect, it can be kinda like a quilting circle to me. I like to sit around with friends and play cards because fun conversations always arise. I like to play games that make you draw and move and yell and scream because they can raise the energy in a room and make for a fun evening. I still don't have much patience to sit still for a long role playing or video game, but love a brain teaser or a good cell phone game like Tetris.

The biggest ubiquitous game I've ever played was in the 90's at the Chinese New Year's Treasure Hunt originally put on by the Cacophony Society. This was the perfect kind of game for me; team work, puzzle solving and zig-zagging through the parade to catch the next clue. We should definitely form a team for February 07.

SF Treasure Hunts Article

I am looking forward to learning more about ubiquitous games and thinking about how we can design one.


Paul Kyle said...

Here's a link to a vid of a recent Joi Ito lecture about World of Warcraft (rather long, @45 minutes, but well worth it)

It's a good introduction to what the experience (and commitment) of MMORPG's really is like, especially for somebody who has never played a MMORPG.

Being a sometime player of MMORPG's I was most enlightened by his decription of the Bartle Types in WOW. Every MMPORG I have played satisfies different people in different ways.

If you have never played a MMORPG game, this might help one to understand WHY someone would play a game like this for untold hours. That is, what playing the game satisfies for different personality types, and how a game like this can build a communal spirit, across national and cultural boundaries. I can imagine a future where people form a deeper bond with their online "guild" than they do to a particular government or cultural group. I can't yet fully imagine the impact of this...

evelyn said...

i think it is intrinsic to humans to use play as a means of testing new technology and environments as well as testing the possibilities of more familiar tools and spaces in new combinations. As you've said, "Instead of “wherever hardware, there’ll be
games”, we have “wherever whatever, there’ll be games.” Play is a special kind of experiment in that there's no particular outcome required, the playing is what's important. With such low stakes players and game designers are able to test new combinations which would not necessarily be feasible in a more serious scenario.

Jake said...

]Ever since i was a little kid i've been making up games. Most of them were just ridiculous little things to help "waste time". What ever this stupid little game was i always envisioned the super hypothetical situation in which some how the game would catch on all over the country and later in my life i would witness someone playing my game, and be able to say..."hey i started that". Now that i can turn this into a reality i am coming up with little games that i want to develop.
I am excited to participate in this upcoming game next weekend. I have also been checking on web sites and such hidden in TV shows. but with no success.

Jenifer said...

The thing I like most about some of my favorite games is that you don't have to be playing them to really experience them. For example games like Guitar Hero or Elite Beat Agents that are rhythm based- once you really get into it you not only find yourself tapping beats to the songs you've played but also to other songs you hear on a daily basis.

There's an online role playing game that I do that's text based, but I find often times I'm out considering what I want to do in the game, looking at the world around me and think 'Would one of my characters like that? Would they hate it?' and just seeing parts of the world through their eyes instead of mine. Granted the game can still only be played by texting with another player, but me and most of the other players have this moment going about our daily lives where we see something and think 'Hey, I could do that in a log!'. It's not exactly ubiquitos, I think, but it blurs the boundary between game and reality a little bit more.

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Katerina Kaskantiri said...

Είμαι η Κατερίνα Κασκαντίρη, η γνωστή πόρνη της Κορίνθου. Ο μαλάκας άχρηστος προικοθήρας πατέρας μου (Αλέξης Κασκαντίρης) και η κωλόχοντρη σκατομούρα μάνα μου (Νικολέττα Μάρρα) που κατέχουν τους Αλευρόμυλους Μάρρα στην Κόρινθο με εμαθαν από μικρή να τσιμπουκώνω τα στελέχη της επιχείρισής μας και να παρτουζώνομαι με τους άπλυτους εργάτες στη βιομηχανία.

Μου έμεινε συνήθεια λοιπόν και πάντοτε αναζητώ ένα καλό ξεμούνιασμα και ξεκώλιασμα για να ξεμπουκώνουν οι τρύπες μου.

Τα καυτά χύσια στο λαιμό μου είναι σαν τη βότκα που καταναλώνω στα κωλόμπαρα της Αθήνας (είμαι άλλωστε φοιτήτρια Νομικής στο Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών και μέλος της ELSA Athens) προτού καταλήξω να πηδιέμαι στις τουαλέτες!

Κατερίνα Κασκαντίρη said...

Ήταν μια φοιτήτρια, Κατερίνα ξεκωλιάρα την φωνάζανε, φοιτήτρια Νομικής. Και ξεκωλιάρα την εφώναζαν όχι για το μουνί της αλλά επειδή όποιος κι αν επέρναγε γαμούσε το κωλί της. Ευτυχώς είχε προϋπηρεσία στα κωλόμπαρα της Κορίνθου, αφού η μπουρδελο-οικογένειά της κατείχε τους Μύλους Μάρρα!