Emergent Game: Call and Return

A few months ago, myself, Ana Benlloch, a swathe of other collaborators and a posse of participants designed, shaped and played Emergent Game.

This was an amazing experience in itself, but to turn it into Learning we are doing it again.

Next month Ana and I will fly out to Japan where we will be contributing to the Dislocate08 festival.

Dislocate is an ongoing project examining the relationship between art, technology and locality. Exploring the impact of new media upon our experience and expression of place, Dislocate08 examines the creative potential of the technologies which surround us to heighten our awareness of our locality, transforming our encounter with our direct environment and the manner in which we attempt to communicate this to elsewhere.

There’s a pdf overview of intent and participating artists here.

Being in Japan also gives us the opportunity to work with hanare: a sort of artist-led space/meeting space/café space in Kyoto. (You may remember the 4649 project.)

On the 8th of September we’ll be doing a workshop at hanare, and on the 13th of September we’ll be doing a workshop as part of Dislocate. We’ll be using these workshops to shape the Japanese component of a long weekend of Emergent Gaming happening on the 19th, 20th and 21st of September. Why? Because Emergent Game has also been accepted as part of igfest (Interesting Game Festival) in Bristol.

So, coming up is the second iteration of Emergent Game in which we’ll be investigating what happens when you have two groups of players exploring places separated by differences in language, culture, geography and timezone.

As some of the players will be in the UK and some in Japan; some having online access and some not; there will be variations in what is possible: part of the game experience will be how your avatar negotiates this. Perhaps you will make friends with a player in another country and barter things with them by post; perhaps you will be a ‘lone avatari’ with a mission of your own; perhaps you will find new spaces online where participants can interact.

We’re still negotiating the starting points for these activities and, of course, the eventual shape of them will largely be determined by those who get involved. But for now the initial instructions from the first game apply to the one coming up in September.

We’d quite like players based in the UK (or elsewhere) to get involved (online) in the two workshops on the 8th and 13th and we definitely want you guys involved in the weekend of the game itself (19th-21st) which is when we’ll be running the mission challenges. The way we see it working is that you now have a few weeks to find a toy to represent you, set up a Twitter account for it and to start some conversations with other players. Be sure to set the location in the Twitter settings to “emergent game” and to follow the likes of @yohmoh and the other soft toys located in emergent game. The rest will take care of itself.

This headstart will substitute for the workshops we’ll be doing with the players in Japan, so use this time productively…

The Ludogeographic Society

During the course of the first Emergent Game, a new collaborative group was formed between myself and two other artists I worked very closely with to realise the project: the aforementioned Ana Benlloch and also Stuart Tait. The Ludogeographic Society will be an identity we will use for future collaborations that explore similar territory to Emergent Game so this upcoming game will be realised as a project under the name of the Society, rather than under my name alone.

We’ll let you know when The Ludogeographic Society’s website is up and running, but in the meantime announcements will be made here and via the usual channels.