Markus Montola

University of Tampere

Game Research Lab

Mostly this article did exactly what it said it was going to do: define pervasive games. In that sense, it was very dry, so I didn’t get a whole lot of quotes or interesting points which I felt that I could draw from the writing. I did, however, have moments of engaging higher order thinking (which is what graduate school is all about, right? 😉 or was that marketing my writing center work? I forget…).

Montola defines pervasive gaming as “a new form of gaming that eludes easy definitions” (1). Well, THERE is my problem! Here I have been trying to struggle with this idea of “pervasive” gaming, when that isn’t even “officially” the direction in which I want to go, and I am given the first definition as being “elusive”. Thanks, Montola. Just for that, you’re getting tagged.

And then I get the definition of the magic circle, “The metaphorical magic circle of play is a voluntary, contractual structure that is limited in time and space”. Well… yeah?

Mostly, I found I connected to Montola when he likened children’s games such as tag or hide and seek to those spatially expanded reality games. Okay, that I get. Bondaries. The yellow flags. The bells are going off. The light bulb has been lit.

An interesting point to ponder, “It is impossible to unequivocally tell whether Dance Dance Revolution exhibits stronger or weaker social expansion than The A.I. Game, since the two forms of social expansion–implicit audience participation and conscious hiding of gameness–are very different ways of blurring the concept of player” (3).

Also, the discussion of crossmediality games is interesting. And, I think, here is where I connect the most with what we have learned in class. We are not limited to just one medium in which to interact, play, discussion, network, develop professionalism (freedom?). And yet, each medium can only do so much (control). Etc… But, the idea that there is not just one way in which one can interact with a game, or in any environment. I try to push myself like this in my fiction writing, too. And, it is always a good idea to remember when working with indexes or metadata in library science–looking at the big picture is better than taking into account the small road bumps (again, I am having WC meeting flashbacks–good ones, of course!). If one medium is not going to work, experiment with another one.

And, so my final question, I realized while reading this article that these games are “fiction” and so I started playing with the idea of a non-fiction reality game or a creative non-fiction reality game. A memoir reality game? A poetry reality game? Basically, can different types of genres be used within the “story telling” of the game world? And if so, which ones work best? For the ones that do not work well, how can they be manipulated across the various mediums which were previously mentioned?

Lots of questions… and while I don’t have one particular answer, I think that’s okay because I feel as if a clearer idea is coming into what I am working with. The applications are happening. The synopsis are connecting. I am preontological and post-paranoid all at once. So, really, I have made it and there is nothing left for me to do.