One of my favorite conferences is coming up this week. Regrettably, since I am currently out of the country I won’t be making it this year. This is a great gathering to meet so many interesting people: gamers, scholars, game designers, and people from the industry etc. Those who participate not only get to play games but also attend some cool panels (here is the schedule) and hear some cool people talk about designing experiences, games, and transmedia storytelling. This year’s keynote speaker is NoMime’s Media‘s Maureen McHugh who also became a friend over the last several years. Of particular interest to me is the City Gaming & Public Art panel sponsored by Nonchalance, an innovative experience design company that has worked wonders with their game the Jejune Institute. Because it is a game build around San Francisco, players discover things that they had never paid attention to about the city itself. Panel organizers, Peggy Weil’s description of the panel is as follows:
ARGs are not only transmedia, they are TransGenre. Games in general, and city games in particular, have “crossed over” from the cult/gamer and commercial/marketing sectors as celebrated innovations in public art. International art festivals from the Venice Biennale to San Jose’s ZeroOne are commissioning game designers to create site-specific artworks transforming the urban landscape into urban gamescape.
While urban game designers are tech-savvy and urban gamers find themselves in virtual and augmented realities – required to take full advantage of mobile/social networks – games as public art have theatrical roots, particularly in street theater, improv, performance art, club culture and literature.
This panel will address the intersection of city gaming as public art identifying both precedents and opportunities for game designers to create work for public spaces.
The details for the rest of the panels are in the schedule, feel free to check it out.