Kars Alfrink presented at Raum Schiff Erde in February 2010.
The talk¹s title -- Transmutation -- refers to alchemists¹ quest to turn lead into gold, which sometimes feels similar to what we¹re trying to do with pervasive games in public urban places.1 To summarize: I start by talking about the fact that games are essentially useless, and that this means applied game design should look for useful results in second order effects. I argue that the contribution of urban games lies primarily in the increased diversity of use of our streets, which is a good thing in itself. I talk about the care designers need to take with the games they deploy, since not everyone is looking to play and we should respect that. Playing games is a voluntary thing by definition. Towards the end I go into different strategies for using games to increase systemic awareness using several games as examples. I wrap up with a look at reward systems we commonly find in games like Foursquare, which now serves as templates for a lot of work in this area. I feel that this leads people away from what game design is about in the first place: creating interesting activities.
His talk is now online at
User Experience and Interaction Design
http://www.mprove.de :: http://ixdahh.mixxt.org