Posted by: Montola | April 28, 2009

360 Illusion in Larps and Pervasive Games

360 Environment Momentum

Indexical environment in Momentum

Our paper from CHI 2009 seems to have made it to the ACM Digital Library. Essentially, we revisit Johanna Koljonen’s Knudepunkt paper on the “360 degree illusion” as a larp design ideal, connect it with the TING illusion of alternate reality games and show how the cocktail has been applied in two pervasive games, Momentum and Interference.

Pervasive games are staged in reality and their main attractiveness is generated by using reality as a resource in the game. Yet, most pervasive games that use mobile and location-based technology use reality only in a weak sense, as the location for a computerized game. In this article we analyze two game practices, Nordic style live action role-playing (larp) and alternate reality games (ARG), that instead use reality as their main game resource. We analyze how they go about creating a believable game world and encourage the players to actively take part in this world. We present two example games that do the same with the support of technology, effectively realizing an immersive game world through a combination of physical play and technology-supported play.

(If you can’t access ACM Digital Library, just drop me an email and I’ll be happy to send a pdf your way.)

The CHI reviewers disagreed with our original use of Peirce’s semiotics (after the rebuttal round), so we had to do a quick fix and change every occurrence of indexicality to more ambiguous “authenticity”, inspired by this cool paper. If you like our use of Peirce, you should know that we changed almost nothing but the terms like “indexical activity” and “indexical environment” and lost a few paragraphs of semiotics.

Photo by Alex Graff.


  1. – was just wondering if you could mail me that PDF? :)

  2. […] This post was Twitted by christydena – […]

  3. Can’t wait to read it – thanks for the link!

  4. ehm…still possible to take a look at the paper? :)

  5. Of course.

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