[-empyre-] Locative Games in Urban Spaces

Margarete Jahrmann margarete.jahrmann at zhdk.ch
Sun Mar 23 23:26:11 EST 2008

Dear Kerrie-Dee,

yes the urban space as play zone is "semper et ubique" - ubiquitous, in
cultural terms. I use this dogma of the catholic pope, which he spells I
think exactly at THIS moment at his Easter-talk in Rome ;)

Alberto Lacovoni even talks about "Extending the Game Zone" in
architectural theory, already in 97. Let me ludicly interpret this:
"Real Gaming", like PACmanhattan, http://pacmanhattan.com/ or like the
incorporation of Tetris in real life with boxes in a supermarket,
constitutes further more a sustainable prolongation of the play zone. In
fact such actions go beyond gaming and regain and reclaim the city. The
reason is not so much the planned political activity, but the
architecture itself. The actual city is no more built for living - but
for playing!!
In march 2007 the Social Hacking project by the collective kurator.org
in England caused a series of local flashes.
Please let me explain why I recommend these sort of play practice in the
following (excusez mois, if I speak this time about personal works).

Some people - and architectural theories, as expressed in "Learning from
Las Vegas" - might say modern cities are built for cars. Yes sure, BUT
these days we see that there is another reason why especially suburbs
are built like this: It's called Gaming!
If one looks at Banlieus (suburbs) of Paris, as we did in November 2005
with the inter passive game-video clip "Parcour Jump", which showed the
parcour jumpers, who climb walls like Super Mario in Real Life!

For them it was for the fun of play, for me it looked like a moving
pattern out of a video-game. The life-risking action is a
counter-revolutionary Ludic statement of the appropriation of the city
as public territory. I got some scenes from parking-houses, where
players jumped from one deck to the other- the garage is built to jump -
GoApe! Download Issue #2:

That was the first time for European public media to wake up from an
somnambulist state concerning the situation of the Secondos, the second
generation of children of "Gast-Arbeiters" in the suburbs.
They burned some cars- yes this is Grand Theft Auto in real life
- not for criminal reasons, but for the reason to gain public awareness.
We do know the burning of cars from the demonstrations around G7 in
Davos (this was the first time, when I personally did see fully burned
out cars on the clean streets of Zurich - so I decided to come over here
from Vienna for some time. there seemed to be some revolutionary
potential in town ;)
The Secondos even developed their own language Verlan, which is a slang
version of French. Such an Lingo and elements of HOW to move through
urban space indicate the political effects of REAL PLAY!

>From a ludic point of view the car plays an important role in urban
games. I see it as anachronist vehicle shaping the city of the 20th
century. So may be you also check out the "Plymouth for Plymouth",
http://www.ludic-society.net/tagged/ - when dockyard worker Billy, his
boyz, certain Tag-teams of the LS drove through Plymouth in England with
some Plymouth Roadster cars. They were equipped with aether refreshing
electronic Wunderbäumchens (special little trees hanging in the cars)!
The local car tuning and racing community tuned into the game. We did
not succeed with the reverse gear race (may be next time, at a town with
some good roundabouts - if You know one, please mail) - but they fully
Tagged the city with RFID markers... as indicated on google maps. The
satellite map served as game HUD. In the end it was fully overwritten by
the flash mob like movements by cars. Imagine the scene: a car stops
very shortly at ANY location in town, somebody jumps out of the car,
glues or zaps an RFID tag somewhere, in a shop or at any other location,
runs out and drives away in high-speed...

In contrast to that futile machinery park rolling in urban space,
classical situationist walks still can be adapted! In November 07 The
Ludic Blitz Play, http://www.ludic-society.net/blitz/ did work just by
walking, but by distributing RFID tags to by-passers with the
mission-statement: "Each wall is Your game console!" The game turned out
as war chalking game. Those players, who inserted a home-brew software
cartridge and clicked a homebuilt-RFID reader into the SM Standard Model
game console slot, did take part in a 10 minutes LIVE CONCERT in the
streets of Bergen, Norway - reading the war chalk TAGs on the walls,
which caused sounds, according to each RFID number- the base line was
the wave-lan cloud indicated by the Sniff function of the NDS....
futility is resistance!

full throttle
easy ride Dérive and Detournement

Kerrie-Dee Johns schrieb:
> Hi,
> Sorry to butt in... but I am interested in the (brief) history of locative games in urban spaces for a project I am curating for the Next Wave Festival in Melbourne called Stranger of the Month. I was wondering if any of you could recommend any games (artistic or not) that have operated like a flash mobs and have involved a group of anonymous others interacting in an urban setting?
> I imagine it this would be an interesting example of where the real city collides with the virtual?
> Please reply via my email address or the list - whatever you wish.
> Thank-you,
> Kerrie-Dee
> ________________________________
> at CarPoint.com.au It's simple! Sell your car for just $30 <http://a.ninemsn.com.au/b.aspx?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fsecure%2Dau%2Eimrworldwide%2Ecom%2Fcgi%2Dbin%2Fa%2Fci%5F450304%2Fet%5F2%2Fcg%5F801459%2Fpi%5F1004813%2Fai%5F859641&_t=762955845&_r=tig_OCT07&_m=EXT>

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