Different Games: Playing With Reality

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.”

Future Factories and Futurematic

futurematic-posterPoster design by Ceda Verbakel

The Situation Lab invites you to take part in two upcoming events with award-winning New York City-based design collective, The Extrapolation Factory.

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.

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# Jan 19, 2014

“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:

  1. The audience is in a living space and a living situation. Things may happen to and with them as well as ‘in front’ of them.
  2. When a performer invites participation, he must be prepared to accept and deal with the spectator’s reactions.
  3. Participation should not be gratuitous.”

Richard Schechner, Environmental Theater. Applause Books, New York, 1973. 78.

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