“I am not naive and I am not a fool. I realize that gamification is the easy answer for deploying a perversion of games as a mod marketing miracle. I realize that using games earnestly would mean changing the very operation of most businesses. For those whose goal is to clock out at 5pm having matched the strategy and performance of your competitors, I understand that mediocrity’s lips are seductive because they are willing. For the rest, those of you who would consider that games can offer something different and greater than an affirmation of existing corporate practices, the business world has another name for you: they call you “leaders.””
“I’m not saying that the games that were at Games 4 Change are bad games, nor am I suggesting that they shouldn’t be made; I’m very much in support of their development. I’m simply suggesting that serious games should loosen their focus on the context of their creation: it should be OK to label games as “serious” if they achieve a “serious” goal, rather than whether or not they’re created in a “serious” context. And then maybe the idea of a serious game being a good game will become the rule rather than the exception.”
Responsibility has yet to be claimed for the beautiful papercraft sculptures that have mysteriously popped up in Scottish libraries and arts centers, each accompanied by notecards featuring the Twitter handles of relevant authorities or personalities.
Tangible artifacts like these have so much presence. It’s hard to imagine augmented reality objects ever having this kind of impact.
This project is a great example of how “embedded” media objects and an active engagement with technology and network culture doesn’t always need to depend on glyphs, bar codes, scanners, cameras, or smartphones — as cool as all those things are.
Just because we can do something 100 percent digitally doesn’t mean that we should. All media forms are tools in the transmedia artist’s toolbox, and every tool has its place. How much less effective would these sculptures be if they had been objects that you needed to download Layar or some other AR app in order to view? How much less presence would they have? How much less mysterious and thought-provoking would they be?
Yes, it’s true, AR people: embedded papercraft objects are better than embedded digital objects.
This is what differentiates the true media artist from the technofetishist. The former adopts whatever medium or combination of media that suits the needs of their project and maximizes impact. The latter always adopts the highest-tech solution, regardless of other options.