Kevin Slavin on BiG Games

Posted: February 16th, 2007 | No Comments »

At the end of his talk on Big Games: Large-Scale, Multi-Player, Real-World Games at Where 2.0 in 2005 (audio), Kevin Slavin came up some “chili computing” (coined by Frédéric Kaplan at Lift) concepts around the experience of location in real-world games. First he mentioned that location is more than GIS data. Location has a wider context and different meanings, it is about being indoors, outdoors, about hearing the busy sound of a street or not. Then he suggest that in fact disinformation and “dislocation” might be more engaging to people as we might become interested into getting lost and making things up (aiming at misrepresentation rather than accuracy). This idea of inventing the real reminds me a discussion with Julian on his current game ideas around the concept of familiar strangers and his inspiring talk When 1st Life Meets 2nd Life.

Relation to my thesis: While my specific work aims at the opposite of using technologies to get lost and tell use lies, I find the approach very relevant. The approach actually reveals that “constraints aren’t what break games. Constraints are what makes them work”. It can be an inspiration for designer of location-aware systems who must deal with quality and accuracy issues could. Instead of hiding the problems or aiming at sharp accuracy, an application might be more engaging when it is less “serious”. This relates to my last week’s discussionwith Frédéric on the nabaztag who tells the weather. Because, the nabaztag is not serious by itself, it is okay if he makes mistakes on forecasting the weather. Actually, its mistakes might lead into a discussion and a collaborative correction of the error.