Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From Audience to Users in Computer Gaming

In 2006 Erik Kristiansen from Performance Design on Roskilde University wrote a paper on MMORPG’s and pervasive games in relation to the role of the players. Kristiansen arguments that computer games are mass media, though they are different from other mass media in one respect: In computer games the audience are not just reacting but actually interacting with the media.

Kristiansen states that the player’s engagement in the game even goes beyond interaction, as the player is creating a game performance. Kristiansen make a distinction between three different types of games:
  1. Reactive games: These games are in a way passive as the game play is in control of the computer, the player is not.
  2. Action games: The player can act and have full control of the game though the player is bound to use the state of the game as basis for choosing the actions.
  3. Creative games: The player has full control over the game and is even creating game play by combining game elements which alters the game.
Games are more and more offering creative possibilities to the players so that the players can play on the third level. According to Kristiansen pervasive games are mass media in a new way as they can embrace many people at one time, and at the same time they take computer gaming to the streets. Also they make it possible to promote collective intelligence in solving the games and therefore they offer creative games to the public.

Media is thought as a part of our everyday life whereas play takes place in a separate space, Kristiansen writes, and at the same time play is a core activity of everyday life. In other words media is the everyday site for play. The boundary between play and seriousness is also less distinct than earlier according to Kristiansen. This makes it even more relevant to talk about pervasive games.

I find it quite interesting to discuss if player freedom is actually adding to the game experience. I am not quite sure that self configurable games are better games. This is not What Kristiansen is saying, but the theme is here.


KRISTIANSEN Erik. (2006) From Audience to Users in Computer Gaming. The MMORPGs and pervasive games as mass media. In Publics, audiences and users: Theoretical and methodological challenges in a multidisciplinary field of research, A NordForsk doctoral course, Hotel Niels Juel, K√łge, Denmark.

Augmented Reality on the Android - AR going towards mainstream

Just found wonderful news on the world wild web: An augmented reality kit is available for the Android. You can download it from github.

This means that even more applications using augmented reality will be out there soon for even more users!

Looking forward to see what is coming!

Follow the developers on twitter: http://twitter.com/androidarkit