In case you wonder the actual scope of this blog — why we blog about Banksy, Sacha Baron Cohen, lostyouinhelsinki, My Playground and all that stuff, here’s a big picture for you. It’s not all about the magic circle.
We see the wide group of pervasive games situated in a larger cultural context of three interrelated societal undercurrents: Blur of the Real and the Fictive in media culture, increasing Struggle over Public Space, and Rise of Ludus in the Society.
While graffiti and Big Brother reality TV, or Blair Witch Project media phenomenon and formalized skateboarding competitions, have little to do with each other, they are all indicative of why pervasive games are here. Pervasive games thrive in a society where anything from stock markets to dancing can be seen as gaming, where individuals and organizations struggle to determine how urban space is organized and used, and where “fact” is slowly losing the war against “interpretation”. Such a society needs pervasive games to understand itself.
And thus, to understand pervasive games, we have to understand how they relate to Borat, lonelygirl15, The Matrix, moss graffiti, gold farming, psychogeography, Singstar and so forth. In the book we’ll have a chapter discussing these connections in detail, one that builds on the paper we published with Frans Mäyrä in Future Play 2007. (Mail me if you can’t access ACM).