Pervasive Electronic Games
Julian Bleecker, Professor, USC School of Cinema-Television, Interactive Media Division
This panel discusses "pervasive electronic games," a fast-developing genre of gaming with unique opportunities for understanding and creating exciting kinds of social and collaborative networks, integrating play into everyday life, creating games that weave into social environments, and inspire performative group action. Pervasive electronic games are typically massively multiplayer, massively networked experiences that rely on an integration of mobile devices, on- and off-network communication, global positioning technologies and a framework for game play that makes use of real world objects and activities. Because of the multivalent levels of communication and networkingboth on and off the Internet, via SMS channels, through physically tagging, clues and game elements integrated in traditional media, GPS technologiespervasive electronic gaming offers a unique opportunity to understand how web-world action can turn into real-world action.
Pervasive electronic games quickly become social R&D that can lead to invaluable insights into the near-future possibilities of mobile communications, motility network architectures, near-field communications technologies, and proximity-based peer-to-peer interactions. Many of the techniques employed to create pervasive electronic games foreshadow more effective, resilient, fault-tolerant, and business-savvy uses of the connected Web 2.0 web services in mobile and disconnected contexts. This is the "serious" side of pervasive electronic gaming where techniques of play become R&D for the next generation of the Webthe Web 3.0where partial connectivity and "seams" in the networks are not a design hindrance, but a designed-for expectation.
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