Posted by: Montola | January 18, 2010

Pervasive Gaming Art Course

Our Google has been slow again, but this is still valuable for educators: Last fall the artist/designer/academic Casey Alt ran a course on Gaming the System: Pervasive Gaming as Art.

Duke University‘s Art, Art History & Visual Studies studio course Gaming the System: Pervasive Gaming as Art (ARTSVIS 173) explores the genre of alternate reality or pervasive gaming, in which the computer gameplay extends beyond typical screen spaces to any area of players’ lives. In designing and staging their own alternate reality games as a transformative social actions, the course fosters an understanding of how blurring common distinctions between gameplay and life opens new critical possibilities for artistic interventions.

In addition to Pervasive Games, the syllabus included texts from Szulborski, Gosney, McGonigal and others, and even the screening of Fincher’s The Game. The main point of the course was to create an ARGlike pervasive game for 25+ players. The most interesting thing in my eyes is that apparently the course was serious about the art part: I wonder if they came up with novel or interesting student works.

Thinking on this I realized that I’d actually want to add one thing to our instructions on how to use the Pervasive Games book: I’d like to ask every educator using our book to bring up the ethics discussions on their courses. Even though our experience is that the students will start the discussion even if the lecturers do not.


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