Trying to come up with some “log line” style idioms to describe the whole vector of near future research I’m doing around game gestures that elongate the scales of motion, time and contact (proximity, touch, etc.) that electronic games have completely shrunk down to nil. There’s definitely a trend towards considering stretching these out a bit — the Wii, Warioware, Teku Teku Angel, Nike+, MobZombies. How far can you go? Can there be “offline gaming” where the screen disappears to the point of it not even being necessary? Where you sort of ambiently know that you’re gaming in the sense that your actions and activities “offline” will register in the game world once you get back to your normal human computer later? Can you still be gaming while you’re doing a run to the market, without being consciously and actively “in” the game while doing the grocery shop? But still, knowing in the back of your mind that, hey, cool! I’ll get my shopping done and probably get a +2 power up!
What’s the language and name for something like that?
* Hands-Free Gaming
* Offline Gaming
* Off-Screen Gaming
Evolution In Game Gestures?
How far can you go with a game gesture? Can shopping at the Farmer’s Market become an interface to an offline game, such that my action and activity while shopping powers-up my electronic game avatar while I’m away from it? Is our imagination open to the idea of gaming..even while not in front of a screen? Can you keep it in the back of your head that “stuff” in the online game world will be affected by your activities in the offline world? How will that change our perception of activities offline? How will it affect our attention to what’s actually happening around us? What will it feel like to know you’re gaming even though you’re not twiddling keys on your mobile phone, nor looking at its little postage stamp screen? How about this — you’re not even networked! Everything is stored up and then uploaded to the mothership later, when you’re back home ready to be an online agent again. You get to participate in what’s going on in 1st life, all the while knowing in the back of your head that your actions get to become something valuable in 2nd life!
The last couple of months has been an investigation of what this could be, through a mix of mostly technology craftwork with the Flavonoid project. Some notes, scribblings and sketches, too, but mostly construction of a theory object that I hope will help me answer these questions perhaps more expediently than head-scratching alone. We’ll see how it goes. Flavonoid came to life yesterday, so that’s promising!