The Cul­tural Aes­thet­ics of Per­va­sive Gam­ing


Session Title:

  • Pervasive Media: Practice, Value, Culture

Presentation Title:

  • The Cul­tural Aes­thet­ics of Per­va­sive Gam­ing




  • 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?