Networked_Performance / alternate-reality-gaming
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_Augmentology 1[L]0[L]1_ by Mary-Anne (Mez) Breeze

drop.jpgArs Virtua is pleased to announce _Augmentology 1[L]0[L]1_ by Mary-Anne (Mez) Breeze. Mez has initiated this work as part of her ongoing interrogation of the space, place and language of synthetic worlds. This text brings Mez’ prodigious talents and experience to bear on several fundamental issues relating to the nature of game and social space:

_Augmentology 1[L]0[L]1_ explores concepts that shape and are shaped by an extensive range of online / synthetic encounters. These concepts are formed through principles generated internally within specific online environments. Continue reading


Apr 18, 10:24
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[iDC] game culture (?) (!) (%#@)

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Game Physics

Andreas Schiffler wrote:

[...] I am at the beginning of some research into the area of game physics (that is, the simulation of physics in video games) … The research is somewhat motivated by several observations:

Physics has an interesting split personality in that it is viewed as very fundamental in the sciences with a lot of ‘prestige’ (Einstein is a folk-hero), but at the same time Physics seems to be largely rejected as a discussion topic by non-science educated folks. As soon as it gets a bit more detailed and mathematical, most people will react try to avoid Physics. The current state of physics education (low number of graduates, etc.) confirms this.

Games on the other hand are well on the way (if not already there) to become the most used, most influential, most profitable entertainment medium. Therefore one can safely assume that they exert a significant influence on our culture. This trend which will continue in the years to come, especially as graphics capabilities reach photorealistic levels. Continue reading


Jun 20, 12:29
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Alternate Reality Games or Fiction of the Future?

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The Space between me and my Avatar

The virtual world of Second Life got a little bit stranger for me this week. I went over to see Destroy Television the other day at the gallery where she’s hanging out at the moment, and my avatar, Walker Spaight, ended up marrying her! (That’s Destroy’s rock at left.) Now, if you know me and you know my Second Life, this is slightly unusual, since for me there’s very little space between myself and my avatar(s) in the virtual world. I use Second Life as simply an extension of my first life; there’s nothing virtual about it. But here I was role-playing the lovestruck journalist to Destroy’s hard-to-get videographizing vixen. Walker even started a Tumblog about his romance. The formal ceremony was yesterday afternoon (Walker was all nerves — though he didn’t show it), and you can view images of the happy couple together on Destroy’s Flickr stream.

It struck me at some point that what I was doing — along with Annie Ok, who was driving Destroy at the time, and Jerry Paffendorf and Christian Westbrook, who conceived Destroy and brought her to life — was creating a little Alternative Virtual Reality Game, in a way. I don’t write a lot about alternate reality games (ARGs) — i.e., narratives that involve audience participation, which usually have some real-world component, and which often feature a prize or reward at the end — mostly because I don’t really roll with them as a genre. Continue reading


Jun 1, 16:57
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Experimental Gameplay: Toward a Massively Popular Scientific Practice

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Massively multi-citizen science is almost here

Can a game developer be nominated for a Nobel Prize in one of the sciences by the year 2032? That’s my plan, which I presented this past weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. You can download the slides from my talk, or read the related research paper (hot off the press!), or peruse some related links, on my AAAS webpage here. (Or see what Newsday took away from it here.)

My goal over the next decade is to support the development of a massively multi-citizen science through massively collaborative games (think: alternate reality games with real-world data embedded inside.) So in the near future, when the most creative, collective-intelligence gamers are grinding away 10, 20, 30, or more hours a week, they’re grinding on real scientific research problems wrapped inside a yummy fictive or fantasy shell. Continue reading


Feb 23, 18:00
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2006 Alternate Reality Games White Paper

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Performance Art

“[...] Beyond games and texts about games, performative art has sometimes used ARG strategies to break Brecht’s “fourth wall.” The traditions of performance art and guerrilla theater have, in retrospect, resembled ARGs in this way. This historical connection suggests a possible ideology for ARGs, in terms of performance art’s political and psychological activism. One may detect a trace of this in Jane McGonigal’s account of ARG players wanting to participate in the war on terror11. Ray Johnson’s Zen-like practice of sending his art to galleries and correspondents is relevant here. As depicted in the biographical documentary How to Draw a Bunny (2002), Johnson’s mail art struck recipients as puzzles to be solved. The boundaries of each piece, like a good ARG puzzle, had to be determined in the course of exploration – what was a pun, what a bagatelle, what connected to which external referent? Continue reading


Feb 8, 18:53
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Gaming Realities

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Virtual Spaces are the New Public Spaces

In less than a month Gaming Realities, one of the biggest festivals to date encompassing the critical exploration of videogames in the fine arts and humanties, kicks off in Athens. The festival hosts a great line up of artists and speakers, many of which we’ve covered or archived here at Selectparks over the years (Blast Theory, Sir Frasca, Darwinia, Eastwood Group, Molleindustria and many more). I’ll be there, so if you’re at the festival come to my keynote and ask some impossibly difficult questions when I least expect it. Cheers! Read on for the comprehensive press release and exhbition details. [posted by julian on selectparks]

EXHIBITION: NetODrom by Christoph Anthes, Alexander Wilhelm, Helmut Bressler, Roland Landershamer, Johannes Zarl, Silke Wiesinger; Austria, 2005 :: Can you see me now? by Blast Theory; U.K., 2001 :: Philosopher Death Match by Benjamin Chang; U.S.A., 2006 :: Grid Chase - The 5€ Dance Pad Project by Dimi Christopoulos; Greece, 2002-2006 :: Himalaya’s Head by DEVART; Netherlands, 2005 :: Civilization IV – Age of Empire by Eastwood Group; Serbia, 2004 :: N o w h e r e - ein welt raum spiel by Sylvia Eckermann, Gerald Nestler, Christof Cargnelli, Oliver Irschitz; Austria, 2005 :: Bordergames by Fiambrera; Spain, 2005 :: Postvinyl by Mathias Fuchs; U.K., 2005 :: Lykno by David Gauthier, Henri Marino, Laurie Prevot, Jean Batiste Spieser; France, 2006 :: Semiomorph by Troy Innocent; Australia, 2001 :: Darwinia Introversion Software, U.K., 2005 :: Ready Played by The Ludic Society (Margarete Jahrmann/Max Moswitzer); Austria/Switzerland, 2006 :: Kalamiotou_02 by The mamayans; Greece, 2006 :: Continue reading


Sep 15, 09:32
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Troy

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Alternate Reality Game

“One of the shared characteristics of all the types of game is to be closed systems, limited in time and space, as a sort of ‘magic circles’ where the player voluntarily decides to enter. Troy is a small but brilliant example of an ‘alternate reality game’, or a game that uses different media and disregards any formalized rule deliberately trying to wandering off the ludic universe. The game has been created on the occasion of the Experimental Gameplay Competition, themed on ‘violation’, and it has suddenly threw the publishing portal into turmoil.

The link recommended by the author pointed to a ‘file not found’ page. Only the most curious users has clicked on the almost standard ‘parent directory’ link. Doing so the user can see the spartan directory tree, typically listing all the files in the remote folders that have no index file. At first glance it seems a hitch, one of the many interface errors that can be seen during the netsurfing practice, but actually it’s the proper game start. The surfer / player can snoop around the Troy’s author personal files, collecting information about him, in order to access restricted areas and to search for the elusive videogame, built for the competition. Continue reading


May 8, 12:46
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Joi Ito

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Recursive video in Second Life

Had our first meeting inside of Second Life today to talk about the island. Thanks to everyone who showed up. Special thanks to Aimee Weber who donated an amphitheater! She showed me how to play videos inside of Second Life. So… I tried making a very recursive video of me watching a video of me watching a test video of myself. Watching a video together inside of Second Life actually works well. The audio and video quality is excellent and you can chat about the video and other things while you watch. It’s really neat sharing a space like this together…

I uploaded a video iPod format m4v and a AVI format of the movie. Too bad the audio doesn’t work… or for your sake, maybe it’s better that it didn’t. [via Joi's blog] Continue reading


Apr 25, 09:06
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Wearable Game

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Clues Woven Into Cloth

If you find yourself wearing clothes from a new company called Edoc Laundry, beware: Strangers may walk up to you on the street to examine the intricacies of your shirt’s patterns. That’s because Edoc Laundry’s first line, expected to launch March 1, literally weaves an episodic, multimedia game into the fabric of the garments. The Seattle-based company is believed to be the first to attempt such a fashion feat.

The idea is an extension of so-called alternate-reality games, or ARGs, in which people try to solve puzzles that are propagated online but require players to team up to find clues in the real world. Usually, the games are promotional vehicles for other products, including video games and movies. Examples of ARGs include 2004’s “I Love Bees,” which was a lead-in to Bungie Studios’ “Halo 2″ for Xbox, and 2005’s “Last Call Poker,” which promoted Activision’s “Gun.”

Edoc Laundry’s line integrates an ARG into its shirts, hats and accessories. The story involves the mysterious death of the manager of a fictional band called Poor Richard. Players find clues such as words and symbols embedded in the clothes. They then head to a Web site where they can unlock complex elements of the overriding story of Poor Richard and its music…” Continue reading Wearable game weaves clues into cloth by Daniel Terdiman, CNET News.com. [via Jim Downing on Smart Mobs] Continue reading


Feb 22, 19:33
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Perplex city

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the first self-supporting ARG

Guy says: “Perplex City is a cross between collectible-card game and Alternate Reality Game. It’s centered around a stolen artefact, and there’s a $200,000 reward for whoever can find it. The cards themselves are rather beautiful and feature a diverse range of mind-bending puzzles, while Anton Bogaty (who you just featured) does much of the artwork for the game. I think it’s primarily worth mentioning because it’s the first self-supporting ARG, as opposed to marketing something else (or being made on a lo-to-no budget basis.) “Also, Boing Boing itself is on one of the cards!

“There are also some live events coming up in New York and London, making it especially news-worthy right now - anyone can participate, as they aren’t especially about PXC, just friendly puzzlin’ competitions. Although the London event is closed to sign-ups, after 600 people applied…” (Here is Guy’s quick-start guide to the game.) [posted by Mark Frauenfelder on Boing Boing] Continue reading


Feb 1, 10:04
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Turbulence Works

These are some of the latest works commissioned by Turbulence.org's net art commission program.
A More Subtle Perplex A Temporary Memorial Project for Jobbers' Canyon Built with ConAgra Products ABSML Ars Virtua Artist-in-Residence (AVAIR) (2007) Awkward_NYC Bonding Energy Bronx Rhymes Cell Tagging (2006) Channel TWo: NY Condition:Used Constellation Over Playas Data Diaries Domain of Mount Greylock—Video Portal Eclipse Empire State Endgame: A Cold War Love Story by Tal Halpern From the Valley of the Deer FUJI spaces and other places by Nurit Bar-Shai Google Variations by Leonardo Solaas Gothamberg (2007) Grafik Dynamo (2005) Grow Old Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments (2007) html_butoh (2007) I am unable to tell you I'm Not Stalking You; I'm Socializing by Liz Filardi iLib Shakespeare (the perturbed sonnet project) INTERP Invisible Influenced by Will Pappenheimer and Chipp Jansen iPak - 10,000 songs, 10,000 images, 10,000 abuses by Ajaykumar iSkyTV Journal of Journal Performance Studies L-Carrier Les Belles Infidèles look art Lumens My Beating Blog (2006) MYPOCKET by Burak Arikan No Time Machine by Daniel C. Howe and Aya Karpinska Nothing Happens: a performance in three acts (2006) Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise Oil Standard (2006) Panemoticon Peripheral n°2: KEYBOARD (2006) Playing Duchamp by Scott Kildall Plazaville Psychographics: Consumer Survey Recollecting Adams School of Perpetual Training Searching for Michelle/SFM Self-Portrait (2006) Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China ShiftSpace Social Relay Mail Space Video Spectral Quartet Superfund365, A Site-A-Day (2007) This and that thought. Touching Gravity 2/Tilt Tumbarumba Tweet 4 Action Urban Attractors and Private Distractors (2007) We Ping Good Things To Life Wikireuse Without A Trace WoodEar Word Market Yeas and Nays You Don't Know Me [ openspace ] wilderness [meme.garden] (2006)
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