C r e a t i ng A lte r n a te R e a l i t i es gaming the real world in order to innovate J a ne M c Gon i g a l, P h D
Creating an alternate reality is a kind of hacking . AR designers are hacking reality to be more like a game . Why? Because they believe games work better than reality.
The global mass exodus to virtual worlds and gaming environments … of time … of attention … of money … of passion is an extremely important signal – not that we will abandon reality , but that we need to make our reality work better.
The concept “alternate reality” comes from science fiction . “ a hybrid of Fantasy and Alternate History that alters this world's dynamics .”
In an AR, a game becomes an alternative framework for experiencing everyday life . “ An alternate reality is another way of experiencing existence .” - G. S. ELRICK, 1978
“ This was a blog for an ARG. But I am real. My game profile is accurate. The people I wrote about in-game have RL identities. My husband really is too smart for his own good. My dog really is sick – but he’s going to be fine. Some of the events I wrote about in-game really did occur, others were my own musings. But the rest is entirely possible and that’s what matters.”
“ So what did this game accomplish? I'll tell you what I got out of it - we're dealing with a hard set of problems! … All of those people, thinking about the worst-case scenarios, brainstorming community solutions! That's a very promising thought…. The game has left the game, but a great community has been built. We've only just begun!”
“ We have the potential to create community on a scale never before imagined on this planet, and I think only by creating that community, by working together despite race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability status, religion, or anything like that… the world will end up a little more united after this .”
-player Juiceman1, via blog
Reality + I feel close to other people even if I don’t know them well .
When the game ends , the alternate reality continues . “ When they returned , they discovered that … their excursion had created a new alternate reality.” - G. A. EFFINGER, 1989
“ I really mean it when I say WWO changed my life. I really have been walking more/driving less, using my cloth bags at the stores, turning off lights, and yes, recycling. My friends, family and coworkers have all noticed the difference. In all seriousness, this entire thing has made me a different person .”
-player Falling Sin, via email
When the game ends , the alternate reality continues .
Super sized – working at a new scale Super imposed – managing a hybrid environment with both real and virtual elements the evolution of everyday superheroes: Super computing – massively parallel efforts Super heroic – pursuing goals defined by the collective good