castronova, mcgonical, and ARGs

Ed Castronova (or is this in fact Ron Meiners’ text?) is making interesting comments on Jane McGonigal’s discussion of ARGs, based on such experiences as her involvement in “Last Call Poker”, how the social experience is framed in a way that sets these outside the rules of normative reality — and how all this strikes a chord with age-old utopian pursuits. See: Terra Nova: ARGs and Utopian Dreams. Poker or WoW — is it really an escape from our socially-determined selves, a sort of ritual or even religious-mystical transgression we are after in all this game playing activity? I am again reminded about how handy it is to keep the work of Victor Turner close by while analysing the social anthropology of games as culture.

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the Tampere University, Finland.