Monday, June 16, 2008

Chaotic Communities

Some early findings on running a global ARG are coming in from Lost Ring puppetmaster Jane McGonigal. If this thesis statement grabs you, then read the full article on designing and playing in "chaotic communities" here: videogames, sandbox mode is an intensely personal style of gameplay, and if you're the player, you don't have to worry about other players arguing with you about the experience you decide to create for yourself. Even if you're playing online, the virtual world is big enough that other players will leave you alone to play however you want. But in ARGs, because gameplay is often so collaborative, and there's supposed to be very little experience that a player can have alone, sandbox mode can create interesting -- and sometimes contentious -- intersections of personal gameplay style. That's because some players might be building an elaborate sand castle, and other players might be racing through the box to make supercrazy tunnels, and other players might just want to squish the sand between their toes. And when your castle meets my tunnel and their toes, well it takes a bit of paying attention to let everyone have their fun. (avant game)

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