Panel: Pervasive Media: Practice, Value, Culture
The vision for Pervasive Gaming is often grandiose, nothing less than the playful mixing of game structures and the everyday, the world as a game-board and life as the pleasurable interweaving of normality and game. But the current reality is locative games with simple mechanics, ARGs played in introverted communities and new, urban sports played without any technology. The field of pervasive gaming has an epic vision, but an everyday trajectory. The experiences of these games cannot be evaluated purely on the game or play itself. The players and designers of these games sit in a web of significance that extends well beyond the games, the events and situations that these games are played in. The aesthetics of these games is only appreciable when the cultural situation they are embedded in is appreciated. It is in this that they are truly pervasive, rather than based on mobile or ubiquitous technology. The vision for Pervasive Media is also grandiose, yet the applications are also often banal and quotidian. What are the parallels between an understanding of the culture and aesthetic appreciation of Pervasive Gaming, and Pervasive Media in general?
- Dan Dixon is Senior Lecturer in Creative Technologies at the University of the West of England, UK. His research interests are social media, computer gaming, and ubiquitous/physical/pervasive computing. Prior to moving to academia, he worked for ten years in commercial web design and development roles as Senior Consultant with Headshift, UK’s leading Social Software company, as Product Manager for the BBC’s online communities and Production Director for London new media agency Syzygy. His research uses ethnography to study the players, designers and organisers of pervasive gaming events and festivals. This creates an understanding of the specific aesthetics of these new forms of physical, technology augmented, gaming. He is constructing a critical, empirical, framework for understanding these games as a social and cultural phenomena, whilst also asking the question of whether this reflects the emergence of a ‘ludic society’.