Breaking Mc Stine Ejsing Duun
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Breaking Mc Stine Ejsing Duun



I didn't use the slideshow at my presentation at Breaking the Magic Circle seminar - but never the less it is here. ...

I didn't use the slideshow at my presentation at Breaking the Magic Circle seminar - but never the less it is here.

Content: Applying Michael Apters ideas on pervasive games. Discussing the concept of the Magic Circle. in relation to alternative reality games.



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Breaking Mc Stine Ejsing Duun Breaking Mc Stine Ejsing Duun Presentation Transcript

  • A Game Magically Circling Stine Ejsing-Duun PhD Fellow Centre for Playware University of Southern Denmark [email_address]
  • Scope of Paper
    • Covers following:
      • The magic circle as a concept
      • Alternative Reality Games (ARG)
      • Theory of psychologist Michael Apter
      • Theory of game researcher Jane McGonigal
  • Huizinga – the starting point
    • A few of Huizingas ideas:
      • Rules separate play from ordinary world
      • Rules are:
        • Fixed
        • Unambiguous
        • Reliable
      • In play the players are isolated from the ordinary world
  • Rules and Goals (According to Zimmerman & Salen)
    • Rules
      • Limit possibilities
    • Goals
      • Through these players judge which possibilities are relevant
    • This means that, inside the magic circle :
      • There is a pool of relevant possibilities
      • Rules apply
    Possible actions - Rules apply Not possible actions - Rules do not apply
  • Magic Circle inadequate
    • In ARGs players do not know if the rules apply or the actions are possible
      • A pool of “Rules might apply” and “Actions might be relevant”
    • We need something else than the Magic Circle to describe the situation
      • Paper uses Michael Apter
  • Michael Apter – in brief (I)
    • Apter about play:
      • ‘ Play is a state of mind’
      • ’ Play is a mental set towards the world + our actions in it
    • To understand human actions  understand motivation, which is a sense of:
      • Arousal (high or low)
      • Goals
      • Means
    • Meta-motivation decides what level gives pleasure:
      • High arousal (Process-oriented  paratelic)
      • Low arousal (Goal-oriented  telic)
  • Apter – in brief (II)
    • In play psychological bubble is experienced
      • Bubble removes harm and threats (they are not experienced)
      • … players still want to experience danger though…
    • Tiger with a cage:
      • -Tiger +cage+crowd = Boredom
      • +Tiger -cage +crowd = Anxiety
      • +Tiger+cage -crowd = Senseless (Apter does not mention this)
      • +Tiger+cage+crowd = Excitement
  • Anxiety  Excitement
    • Jane McGonigal
      • In ARGs players perform believe
        • Pretending the cage is not there – knowing that it is
    • My thesis:
      • Players are motivated to play with:
        • The relation between anxiety and excitement
        • Not knowing if the things they meet are real with potential threats
  • Integration - interpretation
    • The player define where the magic is:
      • Motivation: Regulate activities  level of arousal
      • Rules and goals: Helps interpreting relevance of events (to certain extend)
      • Narrative: Tool for integrating events
    • Players embrace events – they give them meaning
  • What does this imply?
    • In design
      • Leave room for doubt and interpretation
      • Give tools and opportunity to “cast the magic circle”
    • The ordinary world (as opposed to game world) is present during play
      • But it is viewed differently
      • … perhaps even after playing the game?
  • Thanks! Feel free to contact me: Stine Ejsing-Duun Centre for Playware University of Southern Denmark [email_address]