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.”

Stirring $#!* Up With Games: Pervasive and Environmental Game Design Workshop

This workshop is intended for those who wish to explore how games can be designed to directly impact the social fabrics of lived environments such as schools, public institutions, workplaces, and neighborhoods. In specific, this workshop is about how artists, entertainers, educators, policy-makers, and activists can use game design to embolden and empower communities to actively engage in the creative construction of their own realities.

The kinds of games explored in this workshop do not take place in simulated worlds; indeed, many of the games discussed here are not digital at all, and draw more on party games, Happenings, and Situationism than they do on code and computation. What all the games mentioned and imagined in this workshop have in common is that they are woven into or layered upon the lived environments of their players. These kinds of games go beyond merely calling for change by actually bringing it about through playful interventions that both embody and enable transformation, discovery, and social engagement.

Presented October 19, 2012 at Meaningful Play in East Lansing, Michigan.

Additional information: see Research.

Video: Indiecade 2011 “No Screens” Panel

Featuring Mathieu Castelli, Nathalie Pozzi, Greg Trefry, Chris Weed, and me. Moderated by Colleen Macklin.

This is a free-range session about games that go beyond the confines of the polygonal frame. In other words big games, street games, args, playful disobedience, analog games or whatever you’d like to call them! Panelists will discuss design considerations, new approaches and what’s next in the genre. (IndieCade 2011)