i’m in ur world

Found a new locative media game site courtesy of XYZZYnews:

Wherigo

Now locative games, or ubicomp games, or ARGs, or pervasive games (really I just lump all these together) have so far eluded me. What Wherigo is doing is releasing a builder (for authors) and a player for GPS-enabled devices, so people can go out to specific places and play games. Or, here’s the interesting thing — they have games you can play anywhere. So as near as I can tell, it could be like a cross between LARPing and geocaching.

Nick Currie (aka Momus) said some insightful things on pervasive games recently. While you’re there it’s worthwhile to read about another project he’s planning in London.

I’ve always been interested in this stuff, particularly the audio possibilities (and people doing fictional walking tours etc.). However much of it is quite disturbing — almost as if, even though a world mediated solely by screens makes me sick at a gut level, a world mediated by pervasive games could be even worse.

On the other hand, what are people really creating when they create pervasive games. Perhaps they’re going back to the earliest times, to people creating stories out of the world around them, not living in the nine to five business ‘reality’ many of us have come to know as the norm. Maybe people should be taking their RPGs to the streets.

Or is there something fundamentally different (and wrong) here? Is this form of play a symptom of a deeper problem, a problem of civilization?

Must we invent new forms of art for, in response to, a situation that is itself deeply flawed?

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