Play and Performance in Civic Space


This discussion section outlines the ongoing development of location- and context-sensitive transmedia storytelling and performance forms.

The Right to the City situates alternate reality games (ARGs) and environmental game design within the context of the history of cultural and political interventions in urban space. Like their antecedents in critical action and performance movements such as Situationism and Fluxus, and alongside their distant cousins gathered at the barricades, environmental games intervene on the prescribed/proscribed flows and constraints of the everyday through direct engagement with physical and hybrid spaces. Drawing on a variety of related theoretical traditions, I present the environmental game as an inherently political form of play with a distinct set of phenomenological characteristics. This discussion dovetails with many of the issues raised in Susana Ruiz’s section of this report, “Play and real-world social change.”

TupperWare and Other Containers identifies the increasingly central role of player profiling and tracking technologies in creating and deploying spatially- and temporally-distributed narratives and interactive systems. Drawing on examples from current practice, I present two classes of fragmented, distributed, performed and personalized interactive storytelling: TupperWare™, and situated hypergaming. These two classes or genres of mobile interaction design have particular relevance to those interested in applying such games in learning contexts where granular player profiling and outcome assessment are required.


This ends the overview page on Play and Performance in Public Space. For the other two dimensions in the civic tripod of mobile and pervasive games, see the discussions on learning and social change.