Lift12, the New Face of Gaming: Kars Alfrink [en]

[fr] Je suis à la conférence Lift12 à Genève ces prochains jours. Voici mes notes de sessions.

Live-blogging from Lift12 conference in Geneva. These are my notes and interpretations of Kars Alfrink’s session — best effort, but might be imprecise or even wrong!

What future games can do for networked publics.

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Networked publics.

Four things constrain what we can do in public: law, architecture, market norms, social norms.

Online, architecture is code. The internet is not a separate place, there is nothing virtual about it.

We have a tendency to willfully self-separate — “people like us”. Choose schools they send their kids to.

Lack of appreciation, influence, access to networks. New lower-class.

What do you do to stay sane in the office? You play pranks. Reclaim agency. The same thing happens in the world at large.

“You wouldn’t be talking to me now if we didn’t riot, would you?” (rioter to journalist)

There must be more productive ways/rituals to prank our way into a sense of agency.

Ritual. Games can function as ritual in the 21st century.

Games are systemic. Made of rules. Constrain behaviour. Also autonomous. Space set apart from everyday life. Experiment with behaviours which are otherwise impossible or undesirable.

Not all games are like the event they model. More like mirrors.

False idea that we can reliably simulate reality (ref. The Black Swan).

Simulation fever. Gap between simulated reality in the game and reality.

Performative. How speech changes the state of the world. “I declare you husband and wife” is speech that changes the world. Example: Cruel 2 B Kind. Acts of kindness. — both simulation fever and performative. Change the way the two species relate to each other. Give the pigs an active role. And pigs entertained by humans. Real-life issue: EU regulation, farmers must provide pigs with play material.

Games can transform the world in a way that doesn’t instrumentalise games.

Instead, we can make games that empower people, player-centered.


This is what Kars thinks games can do for our networked publics.

Massive games providing social good.


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