Gaming the-city: Telephone City and Social Spaces of Transformation
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Gaming the-city: Telephone City and Social Spaces of Transformation

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Pervasive games blend real world interaction with imaginative play. They may or may not be tied to a specific location, but they invade the player’s life. They have the ability through two-way ...

Pervasive games blend real world interaction with imaginative play. They may or may not be tied to a specific location, but they invade the player’s life. They have the ability through two-way interaction to change the nature of the world around us. A pervasive game might send you emails or ask you to take a photograph of an object or person in your environment and upload it to the game’s site. A pervasive game might make you feel paranoid as you begin to fear you cannot distinguish between game events and ‘real’ life. The game is real, but exists in a different semiotic domain from everyday life (Montola 10). Having much in common with dreams, science fiction, and film noir (where the world is familiar but all of the rules have changed), pervasive gaming is an ideal tool for engaging with digital culture in a learning situation. Telephone City: A Mystery is a special summer course and alternate reality game that I am designing for Wilfrid Laurier University in Brantford. Brantford used to be the number three manufacturing city in Canada and is the place where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Now ravaged by the tidal forces of globalization, Brantford is a city of obsolete technology, empty factories and haunted industrial sites.

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    Gaming the-city: Telephone City and Social Spaces of Transformation Gaming the-city: Telephone City and Social Spaces of Transformation Document Transcript

    • 5/30/14 1 Gaming the City: Telephone City and Social Spaces of Transformation Carolyn Guertin, PhD Augmented Reality Lab, Faculty of Fine Arts York University • 27 May 14 WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY - BRANTFORD New Program launches 2015: Bachelor of Applied Arts in “Digital Culture and Gaming”
    • 5/30/14 2 At Laurier University’s main campus: Laurier Launchpad, Kitchener WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY IN WATERLOO HAS ESTABLISHED THE LAURIER LAUNCHPAD, A SCHOOL FOR ENTREPRENEURS, 3 YEARS AGO. - RUN AS A STARTUP BY A MEMBER OF THE BUSINESS FACULTY, IT IS A SPACE WHERE STUDENTS, FACULTY AND ALUMNI CAN COME TO LEARN ENTREPRENEURIAL OR TECHNOLOGICAL SKILLS. - THE BUILDING WAS DONATED BY THE CITY FOR THE PROGRAM - IT IS RUN BY THE UNIVERSITY, GOOGLE AND LOCAL BUSINESSES LIKE COMMUNITECH.
    • 5/30/14 3 WLU Launchpad @ The Tannery - work with Google employees on your app, use the VR Cave to test your game, meet with and get funding from businesses and dotcom entrepreneurs Play Brantford Brantford also is no Waterloo. In fact, Brantford has met its Waterloo
    • 5/30/14 4 Brantford was the number three manufacturing center in Canada … until globalization happened Belching smokestacks were the hallmark of 20th century prosperity
    • 5/30/14 5 Massey Ferguson Plant During the demolition in 2013, environmental clean up crews extracted 1,000 liters of petroleum byproducts per acre. They didn’t say how much remained behind that was unreclaimable. They only cleaned the top 13 feet of soil.
    • 5/30/14 6 The ground floor of the Expositor Building, former home of the local newspaper, will be the site of a new Launchpad for WLU
    • 5/30/14 7 TD Bank just donated $750,000. A developer is donating the ground floor for developing a space for entrepreneurial work for students and alumni. INDUSTRIALIZATION TOOK A TERRIBLE TOLL. Brantford is supposed to be an acceptable sacrifice so that we can have Toronto and Montreal and Vancouver. How do we lead students to construct a new vision of place for Brantford? Is there life after oil and industry?
    • 5/30/14 8 SACRIFICIAL LANDSCAPE “Where nature and culture meet, they construct a landscape. This construction is most obvious in its physical manifestations, yet humans also determine its spiritual, social, and cultural meanings. Therefore, such a meeting between nature and culture may not always result in a physical creation. A vision of a place can also form within the mind, as humans reshape attitudes and values- thereby adding a mythic component to the meaning of an envisioned locale.” ~ Brian Black. Petrolia: The Landscape of America's First Oil Boom “WORLD WITHOUT OIL” BY JANE MCGONIGAL AND KEN EKLUND HTTP://WORLDWITHOUTOIL.ORG “What is your life like after the oil crash?” is the question Jane McGonigal and Ken Eklund ask in their pervasive game.
    • 5/30/14 9 POST-SACRIFICIAL LANDSCAPE: PERVASIVE GAMING IT’S LIKE REAL LIFE ONLY BETTER.
    • 5/30/14 10 HOW DO YOU CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT FOR GAMING IN THE MIDDLE OF A WASTELAND? In order to use this urban space, I turned to Brantford’s own history, which is interwoven not just with industry but with telecommunications. HACKING THE CITY
    • 5/30/14 11 Parkour repurposes urban space: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pryzwlspg50 PARKOUR HACKS THE CITY. IT IS THE POINT WHERE THE CAT BURGLER MEETS THE TAGGER. It is a physical interaction with urban space in strictly non-legal ways. It is trespassing as a sport. It is a kind of urban wandering. But it is important to note that this is a SPORT, not a GAME.
    • 5/30/14 12 GUY DEBORD AND THE SITUATIONISTS GUY DEBORD WAS A REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVIST WHO USED CONSTRUCTED SITUATIONS IN TIME THROUGH RHETORICAL DEVICES: • DÉRIVE • THE DÉTOURNING OF IMAGES AND TEXTS • PSYCHOGEOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS OF URBAN SPACE. THIS WAS A METHOD OF CRITIQUING THE ANAESTHETICIZATION OF THE SENSES THAT HE SAW AND FEARED IN THE ARRIVAL OF MASS MEDIA AND VISUAL CULTURE.
    • 5/30/14 13 DEBORD AND THE OTHER SITUATIONISTS ARTICULATED AN ANTI-AESTHETIC THAT CALLED FOR THE DEVALUATION OR EVEN SUPPRESSION OF HIGH BROW ART IN ORDER TO CREATE “A NEW GENRE OF CREATION” (DÉTOURNEMENT AS NEGATION AND PRELUDE 1959). THEIR HIGHEST GOAL WAS THAT CREATIVE PRACTICE AND CULTURE BE INTEGRATED INTO EVERYDAY LIFE. PERVASIVE LEARNING My primary goal is to create a course that critiques globalization and technology in urban space. A not inconsequential goal is to allow students to transform their world on a local scale.
    • 5/30/14 14 HTTPS://NIGHTWALK.WITHGOOGLE.COM/EN/HOME Our cities contain many layers of invisible cultural heritage.
    • 5/30/14 15 A COURSE LIKE THIS TAPS INTO THE UNDERCURRENTS OF HISTORY. BRANTFORD HAS A RICH HISTORY AS THE PLACE WHERE ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL INVENTED THE TELEPHONE, AND BRANTFORD IS KNOWN AS TELEPHONE CITY.
    • 5/30/14 16 MOBILE MEDIA PROVIDE THE USEFUL TOOL STUDENTS NEED TO EXPLORE THEIR CITY AS A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND GAME SPACE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkJnislZXgU I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries; a world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you. ~ The Matrix (1999)
    • 5/30/14 17 Pervasive Gaming’s inspiration: The Tenth Victim (La decima vittima), 1965 PERVASIVE GAMING GOT ITS START IN RESPONSE TO PONTI’S MOVIE AND ITS SOURCE, A SHORT STORY CALLED “THE SEVENTH VICTIM” WRITTEN BY ROBERT SHECKLEY IN 1953. THESE TWO WORKS SPAWNED A GAME CALLED KILLERS THAT WAS PLAYED ALL OVER NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES FOR A COUPLE OF DECADES.
    • 5/30/14 18 The idea of a place where normal rules do not apply is familiar from science fiction, magic realism and film noir. Fiction writers too have long played with these ideas as in Gulliver’s Travels by Daniel Dafoe (1726)
    • 5/30/14 19 The Game (David Fincher, 1997) explores this premise: a birthday gift for the man who has everything. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kqQNBR09Rc MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AND PERVASIVE COMPUTING TECHNOLOGIES, TOGETHER WITH SOCIAL CONTRACTS THAT WERE NEVER POSSIBLE BEFORE, ARE ALREADY BEGINNING TO CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE MEET, MATE, WORK, WAR, BUY, SELL, GOVERN AND CREATE. ~ HOWARD RHEINGOLD AND I WOULD ADD LEARN AND TEACH.
    • 5/30/14 20 2 KINDS OF LEARNING According to Lone Dirckinck-Homfeld, there are: ( “Designing for Collaboration and Mutual Negotiation of Meaning,” 2) ASSIMILATION (LEARNING ABOUT SOMETHING)
    • 5/30/14 21 ACCOMMODATING KNOWLEDGE (TRANSFORMING SOMETHING) TELEPHONE CITY: A MYSTERY THE GAME, THE COURSE, YOUR LIFE Pervasive learning falls predominantly in the maker camp. This summer course will use Brantford as a haunted landscape with a mystery to be solved. The game becomes a vehicle for exploring issues related to globalization.
    • 5/30/14 22 BOUNDARY OBJECTS ARE DEFINED “AS ANALYTIC CONCEPTS OF THOSE SCIENTIFIC OBJECTS WHICH BOTH INHABIT SEVERAL INTERSECTING SOCIAL WORLDS AND SATISFY THE INFORMATIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF EACH OF THEM.” (STAR AND GRIESEMER 1989 P. 393). BOUNDARY OBJECTS PROVIDE: 1.  “a locus for communication, conflict, and coordination” (Yakura, 2002: 968), 2.  create “the common ground that leads to shared understandings” (Bechky, 2003: 326). 3.  allow “actors with diverse goals” to work together (Briers & Chua, 2001: 241-2) 4.  promote “the sharing of knowledge in practice between diverse groups” (Sapsed & Salter, 2004: 1515).
    • 5/30/14 23 4 TYPES OF BOUNDARY OBJECTS 1.  Repositories, groupings, clusters, or tags that have been standardized in some fashion. 2.  A Map. A form of visualization, overview, diagram or atlas. 3.  Common boundaries between things, but differing contexts. 4.  Immutable mobiles (Bruno Latour). Objects that can be conveyed over large distances without changing.
    • 5/30/14 24 STUDENTS COULD EXPLORE A PARTICULAR COMPANY, PLOT OF LAND OR BUILDING. THEY COULD EXPLORE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ACROSS THE REGION. THEY COULD EXPLORE SOCIAL EFFECTS OR SCIENTIFIC ISSUES. THEY COULD STUDY GLOBAL FINANCE, URBAN PLANNING OR LOCAL ARTISTS’ DEPICTIONS OF THE CITY. ETCETERA. Global Studies: From Convergence to Gaming Content? •  Globalism as ideology, inequality, poverty, access, diaspora, migration, cosmopolitanism, etc. •  Access, agriculture, sustainability, urbanization, climage change, etc. •  Imperialism, neo- colonialism, soft power and hegemony, global regulation & deregulation, social •  movements, etc. •  Investment, free markets, distribution, etc. trade flows, labour, etc. Economy & Trade Power, Politics & Institutions Society and Culture Resources and Environment
    • 5/30/14 25 So, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to help devise strategies for game play. Project Based Learning Overview •  What are our goals for the students? •  - Students are able to help solve a game as they apply these ideas to their own game design/creation •  - Students reflect on the process of game making •  - Students understand the importance of narrative and politics •  Overview of plan: •  1. Students create a criteria to define a “good game”. •  2. Students test, play, critique games by using real world issues in the city where they live. •  3. Students design their game •  4. Students create their game •  5. Students set up their own play scenario, poll users, and then compile data, revise premises.
    • 5/30/14 26 THE UNIVERSITY COULD HAVE STUDENTS PLAY THE SAME GAME YEAR AFTER YEAR AND BUILD ON THE INFORMATION CREATED OR, IT COULD EXPLORE OTHER LOCAL ISSUES
    • 5/30/14 27 For example, the course could study: Residential Schools, Native issues, and genocide through a ‘game’ about the mystery of the execution of native children in Brantford by the clergy in 1943. Women’s Rights: Mary Anne Shadd Cary, Emily Beecher Stowe, Brantford and the drive for Suffrage
    • 5/30/14 28 From: Nikolaos Avouris, “Learning in the City Through Pervasive Gaming” From: Nikolaos Avouris, “Learning in the City Through Pervasive Gaming”
    • 5/30/14 29 THE COMPLEXITY OF SUCH A SUMMER PROGRAM IS SO RICH BECAUSE IN A HISTORIC SITE THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: 1. Overabundance of events
    • 5/30/14 30 2. Spatial complexity exists in layers in a single location Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas 3. Data has become personalized
    • 5/30/14 31 THE IDEA THAT THERE IS A SHARP BOUNDARY BETWEEN OUR TRUE INNER SELVES AND THE OUTSIDE WORLD IS PERVASIVE BUT HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE. THE BOUNDARIES OF THE SELF MIGHT WELL BE MORE POROUS THAN WE ORDINARILY THINK. ~ JULIAN BAGGINI
    • 5/30/14 32 Berlin Mauer Layar: AR enhances our understanding of the world Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s augmented theatre Ghost Machine (Berlin, 2005)
    • 5/30/14 33 Contact: carolyn.guertin@gmail.com