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Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A
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Where Reality And Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games A

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Slide show presentation by Mela Kocher of April 20th, 2011, at the Mobile Life VNN Excellence Center in Kista, Stockholm (Sweden).

Slide show presentation by Mela Kocher of April 20th, 2011, at the Mobile Life VNN Excellence Center in Kista, Stockholm (Sweden).

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  1. Where Reality and Fiction Overlap: Alternate Reality Games as a Space of Real Virtuality Mobile Life Presentation Mela Kocher April 20 th 2011
  2. Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) <ul><li>Multi-platform games / Transmedia storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Games traditionally form a “magic circle” with boundaries to the ordinary life; are defined in space and time; participation is voluntary (Huizinga) </li></ul><ul><li>Fictional constructs usually show signs of fictionality (enactment, dramatic elements, language, perspectives, genre attribution) </li></ul><ul><li>Both concepts emphasize the “as-if”: people can immerse, pretend, dispense their disbelief </li></ul>
  3. Alternate Reality Games and the Blurring of Reality and Fiction <ul><li>ARGs deliberately attempt to blur the lines by their aesthetics of TINAG : This Is Not A Game. </li></ul><ul><li>Transmedia storytelling, multi-platform game, variety of technologies and game spaces: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interaction with fictional characters and among players </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>online, via E-Mail, chat & mobile phones, in physical spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tie-in of movies, books, websites... </li></ul></ul>
  4. Alternate Reality Games and the Blurring of Reality and Fiction <ul><li>“ A pervasive game is a game that has one or more salient features that expand the contractual magic circle of play socially, spatially or temporally.” (Pervasive Games. Theory and Design. Montola, Stenros, Waern 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate Reality Games attempt all three dimensions of temporal, spatial and social pervasion. </li></ul><ul><li>ARGs attempt to create a 360 º illusion where there is no outside (seamless). </li></ul>
  5. Research questions <ul><li>Interpretation of players along the lines of reality and fiction </li></ul><ul><li>ARG design: how to successfully implement the reality-fiction blurring? </li></ul><ul><li>How could this ARG analysis be useful for understanding similar developments in media culture? -> Real Virtuality </li></ul>
  6. Player Interpretation <ul><li>Need for distinction between fictional/fabricated and non-fictional/”real” content – how to? </li></ul><ul><li>Despite the TINAG and attempt of 360 º illusion, an ARG is still a game, constructs a space of “as if” and is at least partly fabricated, even if it does incorporate elements of “reality”. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation by detecting and discussing sign posts that point towards a game. </li></ul>
  7. Fictional markers <ul><li>Semantic : content is improbable, impossible or unreal </li></ul><ul><li>Formal : aesthetic principles of composition (Webpage Design), style (messages from fictional characters), orchestration (events in physical spaces) </li></ul><ul><li>Para-textual : genre conventions: codes (page source, anagrams), mentioning of PM, disclaimers like TINAG tag, link to wikipedia article on ARG on websites... </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of individual knowledge and media/game literacy for successful interpretation </li></ul>
  8. Fictional and reality markers: Game Design <ul><li>Fine line between a marker being too obvious (possible immersion obstacle) or not perceptible </li></ul><ul><li>There will always be someone who doesn´t get (part of) it (Example: Krobler Fone). Not possible to prevent, but how to react? </li></ul><ul><li>Viral distribution: you can even mark one piece of content but it can be ripped out of context and be distributed all over the internet -> cannot be avoided! Be careful with using ambiguous material. </li></ul><ul><li>Different production and staging contexts (corporate, institutional or grassroot-games // advertising, education or entertainment) need different kinds and modes of fictional markers, in respect to legal and ethical matters. </li></ul>
  9. In Game vs. Out Of Game <ul><li>Distinction between what´s part of the game (IG) and what´s not part of the game (OOG) </li></ul><ul><li>Transformations: former OOG elements can be turned IG as well </li></ul><ul><li>Indicators: unclear, procedural, temporal </li></ul><ul><li>Example: “Charlotte is becoming real” (fone call) </li></ul>
  10. IG vs. OOG: Game Design <ul><li>Either you use clear fictional markers or: </li></ul><ul><li>Leave it ontologically uncertain but give an In Game feedback after a certain amount of time. </li></ul><ul><li>Problematic: how long to wait to confirm IG or lead players back when they drift into OOG? </li></ul><ul><li>Confirmation possibly in a intradiegetic way, IG, not to break the 360 º illusion. </li></ul>
  11. ARGs as multi-user games / participatory dramas <ul><li>The players play together and use their individual skills to contribute to riddles, character interaction, events in physical spaces etc. - “hive mind” </li></ul><ul><li>The same applies to reality-fiction-interpretation where ideally all knowledge on semantic, formal and paratextual markers comes together. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Krobler Fon (volunteer), Charlotte is becoming real: roadside grave </li></ul><ul><li>importance of peers </li></ul>
  12. Participatory Community: Game Design <ul><li>Community Design: How to structure an ARG (knowledge) community, how to improve the player interaction, how to deal with experienced vs. new, more careful vs. experimental, strictly ARG vs. RPG-players </li></ul><ul><li>Design a meta-space, a safe zone (Example: unfiction ), if specific ARG forum: specify if IG or OOG. </li></ul><ul><li>Flat hierarchies, no secrecies among player (groups), open structures, incentives for sharing and posting, moderators. </li></ul>
  13. Player Interpretation
  14. Other media with reality-fiction-blurring <ul><li>Flash mobs </li></ul><ul><li>Reality TV shows </li></ul><ul><li>Street performances and street art </li></ul><ul><li>Nigeria letters </li></ul><ul><li>Mockumentaries </li></ul><ul><li>TV news </li></ul>
  15. Spatial Pervasion <ul><li>Huizinga´s game concept: magic circle which is spatially defined </li></ul><ul><li>ARGs spatially pervade our ordinary life, may this be online or in physical spaces. </li></ul><ul><li>Distinctions on real/fabricated and IG/OOG are difficult to make, confusion at least for a certain amount of time </li></ul><ul><li>Very obvious in physical spaces where the game interface overlaps the RL interface. </li></ul>
  16. Real Virtuality <ul><li>Example: Trip to Berlin in “Charlotte is becoming real ” </li></ul><ul><li>Real Virtuality: fully immersed experience, encompassing all senses, same interface as RL, being part of a fiction/game in the “real world” </li></ul><ul><li>Virtuality not confined/defined by being online or digital but having a much more real quality. </li></ul>
  17. Real Virtuality: Inception App <ul><li>This app is a dream machine that transforms the world around you into a dreamworld. It uses augmented sound to induce dreams through the headset of your iPhone or iPod Touch. It will change your perception of reality. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Warning: Don't play this app with the touchscreen, play this app with your life.” </li></ul>
  18. mp3-Experiment (ImprovEverywhere)
  19. Thank you!
  20. Semantic markers
  21. TINAG
  22. Unfiction: Trailhead Discussion
  23. Krobler Fone
  24. Charlotte is becoming real: Rabbit Hole
  25. Dana King´s Blog
  26. Charlotte is (becoming) real
  27. Robot Speed Dating at ARG Festococon 2009
  28. unfiction TOS: forum is “Out Of Game”

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