Thursday, August 18, 2005

a minor statement on avant gaming


PlaceStorming continues...
Originally uploaded by Avant Game.

I believe:

Games are the dominant art form of the 21st century. Not just videogames (but those too). All games.

We should make benevolent games for all spaces and all technologies.

There should be more benevolent gameplay in public spaces.

Many people find public gameplay threatening. This is not a reason not to play games. It is a reason to play more. It is also a reason to make gameplay transparent, so others will not be confused or alarmed by what you are doing.

Games are serious. Some people dismiss them as “pointless,” but they are blind to the power of pointlessness. The power of games is in their intrinsic pleasure. The nature of games is not to point. The nature of games it to experience. And experiences can be extraordinarily powerful things.

Games are a persuasive platform. Games are a self-expressive platform.

Collective gameplay helps us gather the collective wisdom of crowds.

Collective gameplay can mobilize and harness the benevolent power of the public.

There should be more bottom-up decision-making in public spaces. Massively multiplayer collaborative gameplay may help achieve this.

There should be more folksonomy in public spaces. Massively multiplayer collaborative gameplay may help achieve this, as well.

We should define public spaces as the spaces where you can find the public. Rarely will you find the public in public plazas.

We should treat privatized spaces that open their doors to the public, make money off the public, and serve for better or for worse as the primary public and social spheres of our society, more like public spaces.

When powerful and benevolent phenomena emerge online, we should conduct experiments to see if they can be translated into a real-world power, as well.

Just in case anyone was wondering.

5 comments:

ThaJinx said...

Cheers, mate. It's nice to be on the same page.

Peter said...

I don't really disagree with your manifesto stuff. I dig it. I just didn't find your Ministry of Reshelving game to be either benevolent or funny.

But, I guess I came across as kind of cranky about it. Sorry if I was too vociferous in my opposition. I still think it's kind of stupid. Other people are offended that I don't find it funny, which is kind of funny, I guess.

But I think I might dig some other stuff you guys might do. So good job at getting all the publicity, I guess. And good luck.

Try not to get thrown out of any bookstores, ok? I know some people who wouldn't take that kind of thing kindly at all. But as long as you're prepared to deal with that attitude, cool.

Although, 'the collective wisdom of crowds' thing kind of reminds me of the Southpark with all the hippies listening to the jambands so they can change the world, you know?

John Martin said...

I am slightly in love with you. Not to worry your partner tho'. I just really groove on your manifesto. A great topic for a manifesto too, btw.

Can I ask what, if anyhting, you've found in "the literature" about the relevance of space and place? I'm part of group doing GPS games with the MIT River City game engine, and besides making very location-specific games, we're trying to figure out how important location is (outside of real estate -- although I suppose we could steal a page from them).

We're over at ARGaming.blogspot.com using all sorts of space/place-based verbage.

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Sophia Yanow said...

I suppose commenting on an old post like this will likely get shelved under spam and never read... but as an 'aspiring artist' (art major at UC Santa Cruz), I have recently really turned my art towards games... and I couldn't agree more with what you've said here, as well as with some of your more 'academic' essays on the subject... I wish I could be participating in home-sweet-Bay-Area, but I'm studying in Paris right now and there are things going on here as well.

Hope to meet you some day in the Bay. Game on.