With the ego shooters "immersion" (see chap.
VII.1.3.2, ann.76) became one of the important factors determining the
history of computer games, as is shown in chapter VII.1.3: The players
"involve" themselves actively ("involvement", see
chap. VII.1.3.2, ann.76) into the game world with their actions and orientations
between the input elements of a technical interface and the monitor presenting
an immersing simulation. Players train their cognition of the relations
between the monitor´s presentation of the game world and the possibilities
offered by consoles, joysticks, mouses and/or keyboards to fulfill game
affordances and to exploit the chances to win.
The exclusion of body parts not used for the input on technical interfaces
and for the control of the screen´s output (technical interface)
repeats the reduction of working processes to uses of eyes and hands.
1 After the Second World War the mechanically organised
reduction of working processes to few involved body parts was developed
further, and the reduction was continued by the digitalisation of organisational
processes. Nevertheless the reactive installations of the first half of
the nineties, as they were presented in chapter V, offer interfaces for
a coordination of more parts of the body: The moving body is integrated
into the installation no longer only with the coordinated movements of
hands and eyes.
In Christian Möller´s "Space
(im)Balance" (1992) 2 the observers move on
a bridge-like platform. They change the bridge´s gradient in transferring
their body weight. With their modifications of the bridge´s gradient
observers activate the interface to two projections of a 3D animation.
The projections on two adjacent long sides of the bridge present spheres
moving in a simulated corridor. These movements depend on the bridge´s
gradient. If observers want to maintain their upright posture then they
have to react to changing gradients with balancing movements. Observers
try to coordinate their balance adjustment with their efforts to influence
the sphere´s movements between both projections. If observers change
their position on the bridge to follow the sphere´s moves between
the two projections then they modify the gradient of the bridge, too:
With the indivisible relation between movements on the bridge and the
image simulation the visitors´ possibilities to observe the sphere´s
moves are restricted. If visitors modify the bridge´s gradient by
motions to be able to follow the sphere´s movements from another
point of view, then they change the sphere´s motion: In acting on
the bridge visitors cause the following changes of the sphere because
they initiate modifications of the projection with each correction of
their body position made with the intention to ameliorate their angle
Möller, Christian: Space (im)Balance, 1992, pavilion
with reactive installation in the interior space, Donaulände, Linz.
Top: vertical plan (Möller: Space 1992, p.158).
Bottom: The pavilion´s interior with one of the two projections
and an observer standing on the platform with a modifiable gradient.
Möller´s bridge is transformed in "Sonic
Pong" by Time´s Up (1999) into an interface constituted
by two little panels whose gradients can be modified with the feet. The
2D tennis game presentation of Atari´s classic "Pong"
(1972, see chap. VII.1.2) is changed into a light projection of three
signs two beams for the two racquets and a circle for the ball
accompanied by sounds. The switching elements for the tonal control
by hands are mounted on a board. The sound is emitted by a row of loudspeakers
being placed between the two interfaces for inputs by hands and feet.
Between the loudspeakers the sound follows the projection of the ball.
Time´s Up: Sonic Pong, 1999, reactive installation.
Meanwhile players control the Pong projection they react to gravitational
forces in their efforts to maintain their upright posture. Above the panels
the boards are mounted on vertical bars and can be used by players as
opportunities to hold themselves with their hands, to balance and to keep
their upper bodies upright.
When players ask themselves if the tonal control was the goal of the
developers, then they recognise the necessity to proceed with the game
play for a continuation of the sound production using sampled sounds of
old computer games. The sound production can be controlled by two rocker
levers and a pressure switch. The produced sounds are of an interesting
kind and can provoke an understanding of the modified Pong elements as
an interface to the sound production. 3
of internet games is followed by a further phase of the spatialization
of games. Many participants play against each other in Massively Multiplayer
Online Games (MMOG) 4 on several servers storing variants
in different languages. The online role game "Neverwinter
Nights" (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Game 5,
1991-1997) offered in 1991 still to 200 participants, then in 1997 up
to 500 participants a platform to play against each other alone or in
teams with a game master. The 3D simulation represented the fantasy game
world in the "third person overview". In June 2001 "World
War II online" was presented as a "first person shooter"
(see chap. VII.1.3.1) with characteristics of role playing games, as they
were featured earlier in online games like "Ultima
Online" (since 1997) from a "third person overview".
Already in April 2001 and thus two months before "World War
II online" It´s Alive releases the pervasive game "BotFighters"
for mobile telephones presenting the locations of opponents on a 2D display.
With its offer to combatants to choose their role in one of the camps
(rebels against "Global nations") "BotFighters" anticipates
the combination of shooters and the elements of role playing in "World
War II online", but it reduces the 3D simulation on the mobile phone´s
display to a diagrammatic 2D view of game fields with icons representing
the avatars of players. In the science fiction game "BotFighters"
the ego shooters´ perspective of players is substituted by the players
moving in the real space.
It´s Alive: Botfighters 1, since April 2001, the screen
of the mobile telephone.
The diagrammatic screen presentation is an element of the technical interface
delivering informations that the players can coordinate with their orientation
and actions in the world (world observation): The technical interface
of the mobile phone (interface 2) and the world observation (interface
1) are mediated with each other by the players in the coordination of
their `game moves´ (interface 3, see chap. VII.2.2). The coordination
of movements in the real space and the virtual game world presupposes
the player´s parallel self-orientation in the real world and the
virtual combat zone: Thereby the mobile phone is simultaneously a scoreboard
and the virtual part of the battlefield. For the game system only specific
aspects of the orientation and motion in the real space are relevant,
but nevertheless the player has to mobilise all capabilities for orientations
and body coordinations to organize his movements in the real space.
It´s Alive: Botfighters 1, since April 2001, pervasive
game, illustrations from the web site and the screen of the mobile telephone.
The localisation of players in cells uses mobile telephony´s cell-ID
positioning technology. If opponents are located in the same mobile cell,
then the game system informs them via SMS. At each day or night time a
player can start a fight by ringing the combatant´s mobile phone.
In the fights between rebels and "Global Nations" a player can
try to enhance his account on the side chosen.
The account and the score-dependent
hierarchy of the players are shown on the "BotFighter´s"
website. 7 Players can also ameliorate the equipment
of their avatars on the site of the commercial game. 8
The mobile screen with a 2D data
visualisation presents to players the informations necessary for their
coordinations of actions in the real space. More informations or even
a virtual world worked out as a 3D animation 9 may be
disturbing for the players´ efforts to coordinate their game moves
in the urban traffic: Meanwhile moves at the consoles of computer games
are coordinated by players "immersed" in virtual spaces and
thus "involved" in 3D game worlds, the players of pervasive
games use informations delivered by the screens of mobile gadgets to orientate
themselves in the real space in a game-oriented functional way for the
coordination of their strategies and moves. But the transfer of the navigation
in simulated spaces back to the real spaces doesn´t cause a return
of the self-orientation to strategies in street games. 10
In the course of the development of pervasive games
after "BotFighters" the adaptation of computer games´
characteristics was at first deepened 11, until the
developers overcame such dependencies.
At the pilot test of "Frequency
1550" (2/7-9/2005) eleven and twelve-year-old pupils of the course
IVKO (Individueel Voorgezet Kunstzinnig Onderwijs) by Amsterdam´s
Montessori Scholengemeenschap (association of Montessori schools) form
six teams, each with four participants. Two players of a team stay in
the head quarter at De
Waag (the former city gate Sint Antoniespoort, 1488). The two other
team members take over the role of pilgrims wandering in 1550 as penitents
to the Hostie van
het Mirakel in Amsterdam.
Waag Society: Frequency 1550, February 2005, pervasive
game, pilot test.
In 15th November 1345 a sick man received a host before he dies. This
host was found in the residues of his estate after it burnt to cinders.
The place of this miracle became a destination of pilgrimages and led
to the edification of a chapel as well as to a procession repeated annually.
After the conversion of Amsterdam to the protestantism in 1578 the procession
was continued. Since 1871 catholics organised the procession as a quiet
walk, and the participants don´t carry any religious attributes.
In their role as penitents the participants pursue the goal to refind
the (in the game) vanished host and to build a cloister. Only as citizens
of Amsterdam they can receive a building permission. With the points received
in accomplishing the tasks the players approach their goal to be recognised
as citizens of Amsterdam.
A city map of the 16th century (from the collection of the Gemeentearchief
Amsterdam) is divided in game sectors. The teams are assigned to specific
sectors. Each team is equipped with two mobile phones: A mobile phone
Nokia 6600 GPRS
presents the city map of Amsterdam on its screen. The videostreams containing
informations on the tasks of the game a user manual and questions
are sent via UMTS and presented to each team on a second mobile,
a Sony Ericsson
Z 1010. In the urban space the teams get the instruction via GPRS
on the first mobile phone to receive their next tasks via UMTS on their
second mobile phone.
The street players carry GPS receivers. They are connected wireless by
bluetooth to the GPRS mobile telephones being used to send the data to
the game server. After the data are processed by the game server then
they are sent to the GPRS mobile phones of the street players. On their
screens the GPS localisation is presented on the city map of Amsterdam
made in the 16th century.
In the head quarter a laptop presents the locations of all participants.
The participants stationed at the head quarter can follow the paths of
the teams on an actualised city map(in Flash) and they can switch to the
map of the Gemeentearchief. While the participants of a team act in Amsterdam´s
streets they compare the old city map on the screen of their GPRS mobile
phone with the actual states of the urban environment. Especially the
filled channels as well as the demolished and new bridges pose problems
to the players´ efforts to orientate themselves in the actual city
with a map of the 16th century.
The players located in the head quarter can help the other members of
their team when questions concerning the current course of a street arise,
and they can try to help to solve tasks as fast as possible (via input
to search systems on the web). From the outdoor spaces the players send
photos and films of solved tasks as e-mails with attachments via UMTS
to the head quarter.
For the duration of 10 minutes competitors can deactivate with "GPS-boobytraps"
the localisation being integrated into the game system via the GPRS mobile
telephones. In these cases the view of the map remains intact. If the
deactivated localisation can´t prohibit the participants of a team
to arrive at a specific location before the end of the blocking period,
than this period ends earlier.
The game´s pilot test had a duration of two
days. In De Waag a third day was used to examine if the players memorised
the informations they received on the history of Amsterdam in the first
two days. It is told that the result of the test exceeded the expectations.
The test offered players to learn how the history of religions influenced
the city as a growing field of forces integrating different structures
(religions, urban planning, traffic, and others).
In the pervasive games described below changes in the states of the players´
moving bodies deliver the input to the carried mobile equipment. This
equipment records dates and then processes or transports them in networks
to servers. The screens of the mobile gadgets indicate to players if their
movements remain within the programmed limits or if they transgress them.
Players coordinate the technically implemented part of the game´s
rules with the non-implemented parts. To follow their game strategy and
to fulfill the tasks the players try to accomodate their body movements
to the informations indicated on the screens of the mobile equipment.
In urban spaces the players have to care for their self coordination in
traffic situations affording attentions not seldom simultaneously in times
when the screens of the mobile equipments require this attention, too.
The impossible simultaneous direction of the attention to the screens
and the urban traffic has to be transformed into a sequentially structured
observation, often under time pressure.
by Dragons" (2005) 13 the player´s attention
is directed to his pulse because the mobile equipment reacts to it and
switches itself off after two minutes lasting heart rates being either
too high or too low.
Participants are equipped with PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants by Hewlett
Packard : HPiPAQ), GPS receivers and a heart rate monitor (measures heart
rates per minute). Two electrocardiograms (ECG contacts) of an ECG monitor
are attached to a belt. They are strapped around the waist. A light weight
sensor bus (Science Scope Sensor Slave) coordinates the connection of
the two input systems GPS and ECG with the PDA. The ECG monitor (by Science
Scope) is connected wirelessly with the sensor bus.
Active Ingredient/Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts
und London Institute for Sport and Exercise, Middlesex University, London/Mixed
Reality Laboratory, Nottingham Trent University: ´Ere be Dragons,
project, Nottingham, Februar und Dezember 2005/Singapore, November 2005/Berlin,
A flash program reacts to the heart rate measured by the ECG in constructing
isometric views of vegetative worlds. They are presented on the screen
of the PDA to the players. The views coordinate specific motifs of landscapes
with specific locations: If a player repasses the same location then the
screen presents the same landscape motif.
The heart rate being adequate for each player and his age has to be ascertained
before the game starts. The technical equipment is tuned to each player´s
optimal heart rate. As long as a player sustains his optimal heart rate
the screen of the PDA shows a landscape with grasses, trees and flowers.
At a low rate the screen shows a desert, meanwhile a high rate is indicated
by the presentation of an impermeable forest. When the player leaves the
optimal heart rate, then a warning and, after two minutes, the deactivation
follows. If players have to care about the traffic and are disabled to
observe the screen, then audio signals facilitate the control of the pulse.
A "client-server system" delivers the informations needed on
the locations of other players.
The game intended for the activation of the body
and as a means against obesity follows the concept of the "open play":
"...it is up to the player to decide how they want to play."
The equipment of Jonas Hansen´s (former: Jonas
Hielscher) game "Wanderer"
(2005) 15 reacts to the player´s speed. The players
have to react to instructions like "too fast, go slower" or
"too slow, go faster".
A player walks with laptop, GPS receiver and headphone. GPS localisations
deliver the basic input for the indication of a player´s speed.
A beat of bleeps makes it easier to players to accomodate their speed
(walking pace: 3-4 km/h). Obstacles have to be circumvented fast. Players
increase their point account by following the instructions for direction
changes (f.e. "Turn left now"), as they are generated by the
game system´s chance operations, and by circumventions of obstacles
lasting only a few seconds. Skilled reactions to game affordances and
movements circumventing obstacles in the real space are rewarded in "´Ere
by Dragons" and "Wanderer".
Hansen, Jonas: Wanderer, September 2005, pervasive
The development from games in exhibition spaces to games in urban spaces
evolved from "Sonic Pong´s" spatialization of "Pong"
to "BotFighters´" transfer of a MMORPG into the real space.
Meanwhile in "BotFighters" and in "Frequency 1550"
the game play is determined by two levels (the urban space and the game
system) with affordances to the players to coordinate these levels with
each other, in "´Ere by Dragons" and "Wanderer"
the players integrate the states and actions of their bodies into their
game strategies mediating between the urban space and the technical equipment.
A player´s reactions to situations in the urban traffic by a too
much reduced or accelerated walking tempo and by increased heart rates
are registered by the technical equipment. The registrations of his reactions
cause in turn the player to correct his further movements: If a player
integrates his body into the control of game moves in using the criteria
indicated by the technical interface, then he integrates changes of his
body in the same manner as he does it with other changing conditions of
the environment. The player acts in this way as a controller of the organization
of game moves (game-oriented world-interface, interface 3), but nevertheless
in his organisation of further game moves he has another impact on conditions
of his body as he has it on his adaptation to traffic conditions and other
obstacles (internal environment/external environment). The
part of the mobile equipment sustaining recursions of body states and
actions to the game-oriented interface (interface 3) can be integrated
into the body coordination like an artificial limb. The mediation between
the body coordination for movements and orientations in the real space
(world interface, interface 1) on the one hand, and the body coordination
for the input to the mobile equipment (technical interface, interface
2) on the other hand, is realised by the coordination of the adaptable
action schemes and plans (the cognitive body coordination) with measurable
body effects (the biologic state). Players fulfill a two-fold reorientation
concerning changing conditions of the environmental conditions and the
changing informations about their own body: The game-oriented world observation
(interface 3) is forced to mediate permanently in processes of reorientations
between the self localisation by orientations within an environment (interface
1) on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the game´s rules and
the affordances of the technical equipment (interface 2).
VII.2.2 Game-oriented World-Interface
When players develop strategies for pervasive games then they take into
consideration their body coordination in the real space as well as their
handling of the technology and their use of the rules to play: The `interface
1´ is constituted by the interface of the observer to the world,
and the `interface 2´ by the relation between the technical equipment
and the rules to play (as they are not always technically implemented).
The `interface 3´ consists of the players´ efforts to develop
strategies coordinating their orientation in an environment including
the traffic conditions (world-interface, interface 1) with the game´s
affordances (interface 2).
The `world-interface´ or `interface 1´ is the interface between
the inner and outside world, between cognition, proprioception and sensomotor
functions on the one hand and, on the other hand, fields of action in
changing environmental conditions.
coordinate their movements in an environment and constitute their conceptions
of the environmental conditions in collecting experiences by walking around:
The observer acts within the world he is observing (world-internal observer).
16 The observer operations of body movements within
the world are fed back to the observing operations coordinating the actions.
17 The observing operations are cognitive in the sense
of knowledge, interest and attention as well as neurobiologic in the sense
of a pre-reflective body coordination as it is presupposed, for example,
by walking: Not each single step has to be coordinated, but only the direction
and the speed. If wider brain areas are damaged then the trial to substitute
the cancelled pre-reflective body coordination by intact brain areas causes
a conscious and exclusively visually organized coordination. This requires
a high concentration to be able to organise simple movements and excludes
a body coordination after dark. 18 In activating the
nerves being sensitive to audible, tactile and visual stimuli the body
supplies input from the external environment and transfers these informations
via the nerves to the brain areas being able to process these data in
specific ways. In the brain environmental dates are integrated into the
world observation in constructing "stimulation patterns", "schemes"
and "turning markers". 19 Changings in these
constructions cause modifications in the ways to control the body coordination
for further movements in the world. The recursions of a body´s movements
being made to collect new informations on the environment/world to the
formation of world conceptions constitute the `interface 1´ respectively
the interface of an observer to the world.
The `interface 2´ or `game-interface´
is constituted by the game rules that can be partially or fully implemented
as parts of the technical game system. In games with technical systems
implementing all rules players acting without knowledges of the game´s
rules can use reactions of the game system to recognise if they follow
or act contrary to these rules. Also in games integrating environmental
factors only selectively, players make recourses to their `world-interface´
in its full extent for being able to supply the game system with the required
dates obtainable by actions in the environment: For players it is impossible
to act in real spaces if they did not develop their world observation,
and, with it, their capabilities for self orientations and for the navigation
of actions (interface 1). Strategies for the game play are results of
plans for reactions to events in urban spaces under the conditions of
the game. In game moves the strategies are executed under the conditions
found in the environment (f.e. the traffic). 20
A walking player can keep his attention focused on
a screen only for a short time, because he needs for walking straight
ahead repeated visual checks of his own body and its relation to the environment
21: The design of pervasive games should take into account
the body coordination and the ways it relates proprioception and outer
The `interface 3´ or the `game-oriented world-interface´
consists of strategies developed by players for expected environmental
conditions to realise chances to win via adequate moves. In ways to (sign-)
act ("Spiel(zeichen)handeln" 22) between the
signs of the game and the urban space the players develop a game-oriented
world observation in intermediating `interface 1´ and `interface
2´. With Charles Sanders Peirce these mediations can be understood
as mediations of "a first and second" in a "third":
Third is the conception of mediation, whereby a first and a second are brought into relation. 23
Pervasive games provoke players to relate `interface
1´ and `interface 2´ with each other in `interface 3´
by "embeddings, functionalizations, reductions, hierarchisations,
recursions and determinations". 24
Dr. Thomas Dreher
Germany. Homepage with numerous articles
on art history since the sixties, a. o. on Concept Art and Intermedia
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1 On the "body-hand-builder model" ("Kopf-Hand-Baumeistermodell")
of modern times: Neusüß: Kopfgeburten 1985, p.63-73,105s.,119,131ss.,155.
(review by Mies: Köpfe 1985; Schönbucher/Seitz: Neusüss
2 Ars Electronica 92, Linz, Donaulände, 1992. In:
Möller: Architektur 1994, p.31ss.; Möller: Space 1992. back
10 Cf. the "New Games Movement" of the seventies
and its aim to use games "as the vehicle for change" and to
direct the players´ attention away from the competition to the cooperative
play actions. Lit.: Flanagan: Play 2009, p.183s.; Fluegelman: Games 1976;
Pearce/Fullerton/Fron/Morie: Play 2007, chap. 2; Salen/Zimmerman: Rules
2004, p.528s.; Turner: Games 2006. back
11 See the adaptations of PacMan using new technologies:
Mixed Reality Lab: Human Pacman, Singapur, 2003-2004 (Dreher: Sammeltipp
2, Teil 1 2005-2008); New York University´s Interactive Telecommunications
Programme: Pac Manhattan, New York, April 2004 (Dreher: Sammeltipp 2,
Teil 2 2005-2008); InfoLab21, Department of Communication Systems, Lancaster
University: Pac-Lan, Bailrigg/Lancaster, Dezember 2005-Februar 2006 (Dreher:
Sammeltipp 2, Teil 3 2005-2008). back
12 A server connected via internet was used as the
center of all dates. This server was programmed with KeyWorx,
a software platform developed by the Waag Society in Amsterdam. The software
was open to use it free of charges in non-commercial projects if the developing
group was named (Triple license Mozilla
Creative Commons 1.0 Niederlande). Lit.: Dreher: Sammeltipp 2, Teil
2 2005-2008. back
13 By Active Ingredient/Lansdown Centre for Electronic
Arts and London Institute for Sport and Exercise, Middlesex University,
London/Mixed Reality Laboratory, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham.
Lit.: Dreher: Sammeltipp 2, Teil 2 2005-2008. back
14 Cooke/Davis/Jacobs/Moar/Riddoch/Watkins: Ere 2006,