Samples from the Benzon defunct technology archive
Talk delivered at Different Games 2014. Explores how games “play with reality,” opening various avenues for inquiry around notions of environment and situation. Makes reference to Sartre, Goffman, and Baron Von Haussmann, among others, and offers up the following definition for game: “Games are semi-regulated situations that unfold over time and resolve based on the creative participation of one or more players.”
Founded by designers Elliott P. Montgomery and Chris Woebken, the Extrapolation Factory sets out to “explore the value of rapidly imagined, prototyped, deployed and evaluated visions of possible futures on an extended time scale.” In 2013, they won the Core77 award in the Speculative Design category for their project 99 cent futures, in which they held a design jam to create speculative products from the discount store of the future. When an exhibition incorporating 99 cent futures opened in China last December, CNN published this report.
“I think it’s vital to de-professionalize the public debate on matters that vitally affect the lives of ordinary people. It’s time to snatch our futures back from the ‘experts.’ Time to ask, in ordinary language, the public question and to demand, in ordinary language, the public answer.”
“In participatory situations, game structure replaces aesthetics. Instead of events being worked out beforehand, there is a “game plan,” a set of objectives, moves, and rules that are generally known or explained. The game plan is flexible, adapting to changing situations. . . [In 1969,] I formulated three rules of participation: