Tagalternate reality games

Jane McGonigal interview at WorldChanging

NY cryptozoo

Above: People playing CryptoZoo

Suzie Boss: For the uninitiated, what are alternate reality games?

Jane McGonigal: When people think of computer or video games, they often think of playing in a virtual world that doesn’t exist in reality. But alternate reality game designers are trying to get people to play in the real world. We want people to bring the same curiosity, wonder, and optimism that you feel when in your favorite video games into your real lives and real problems.

SB: Your games sound pretty different from commercial products like World of Warcraft.

JM: There are two big distinctions. First, alternate reality games are not in a virtual environment. They’re built on top of social networks, so we use ordinary online tools like online video, blogs, wikis, and being part of a network. It’s not about graphics and avatars. Second, it’s real play and not role play. You don’t adopt a fictional personality. You play as yourself.

SB: Do your games actually change how people act in real life?

JM: CryptoZoo is a good example of a game oriented to changing your everyday behavior. I developed it for the American Heart Association with the mission of changing the way people think about physical activity. Right now, many of us think of physical activity as requiring you to carve out an hour and changing into your gym clothes. You think you have to go to a special place to sweat. It feels separate from our everyday lives and not integrated into what we do when we’re hanging out with our friends. CryptoZoo inspires people to say, let’s be active for the next five minutes. We teach people to see real streets, real parks, real physical environments as opportunities for playing the game.

WorldChanging: Jane McGonigal on Gaming for Good

Woman Sues Toyota Over ‘Terrifying’ Prank

In a lawsuit filed Sept. 28 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Amber Duick claims she had difficulty eating, sleeping and going to work during March and April of last year after she received e-mails for five days from a fictitious man called Sebastian Bowler, from England, who said he was on the run from the law, knew her and where she lived, and was coming to her home to hide from the police. […]

It turns out the prank was actually part of a marketing effort executed by the Los Angeles division of global marketing agency Saatchi & Saatchi, which created the campaign to promote the Toyota Matrix, a new model launched in 2008. […]

Her attorney, Nick Tepper, said the Matrix campaign was similar to “Punk’d” a former MTV show starring Ashton Kutcher that featured celebrities being set up by their friends for elaborate pranks. Toyota’s marketers used the Internet to find people who wanted to set up friends to be “punked,” and Duick was set up by a friend of hers, he said.

Apparently it has something to do with this:

Saatchi & Saatchi’s lawyers are claiming she “opted-in” to the campaign with written consent. Her lawyer claims that “written consent” consisted agreeing to the fine print of an online personality test she took.

ABC News: Woman Sues Toyota Over ‘Terrifying’ Prank

Game over for Ong’s Hat and the Incunabula papers?

Joseph Matheny, who has been bringing the Incunabula Papers and the legend of Ong’s Hat to cyberspace for years has announced he will author his final chapter of the Incunabula Papers titled Game Over? The final chapter will apply game theory to the Ong’s Hat fiasco and will question whether it is really over.

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