anthropology · behavior · community · creativity · environment · play · Social

Games in Real Life

Drawing of ancient Indian board game with piec...
Game board from India; looks kind of like a city grid. Image via Wikipedia

An article featured on the O’Reilly Radar last month that interviews Kevin Slavin, managing director of Area/Code, who is currently working with Frank Lantz to integrate gameplay into the fabric of reality, or what he calls “Big Games.”

Big games are “games that take place using some elements from the game system and some elements of the real world. Something Frank Lantz had worked on with Katie Salen and Nick Fortugno was called the Big Urban Game. It involved transforming the city of Minneapolis into a game board. They did that by using huge inflatable game pieces, about 25-feet high. The players, among other things, were moving these huge pieces around the city.”

“There’s a few of us who have been thinking about how “play” and the “city” were going to combine. We’ve been drinking the same Kool-Aid from the same cooler for quite a while.”

The way Slavin’s describing his vision reminds me a lot of parkour. Interesting ideas.

Read the full interview (highly recommended).