The Best Sentence of the Day

This blog is a cut-up of a dissertation in progress. Each day, I will post my favorite sentence that I have newly scribed. Everything out of context, but suggestive. I hope.

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Location: San Francisco, CA

I'm a game designer, a games researcher, and a future forecaster. I make games that give a damn. I study how games change lives. I spend a lot of my time figuring out how the games we play today shape our real-world future. And so I'm trying to make sure that a game developer wins a Nobel Prize by the year 2032. Learn more here in my bio or get my contact information on my contact page.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The LAST Best Sentence of the Day

Okay folks.

Tonight, I wrote the last best sentence of the dissertation draft.

I have about one month before I file, during which there may be best revised sentences of the day-- so don't abandon me yet. :)

But still. What a relief. Nearly 600 pages of the epic dissertation on ubiquitous play and performance.

Here is my last best sentence of the day, which is actually a bunch of sentences but since it is the end, I shall rewrite the rules.


Indeed, I believe ubiquitous play and performance may best be theorized as a series of proliferating tools for reprogramming reality—for better, for worse, for all other kinds of different.

The title of this dissertation, This Might Be a Game, is meant in the end to evoke what I believe to be the fundamentally open classification system of ubiquitous play and performance. Ubiquitous computing infrastructure invites designers and programmers to reclassify myriad things as toys, spaces as playgrounds, and social contexts as gaming occasions. Pervasive gaming methods invite artists to reclassify public environments as game stages and spaces for collective expression. Ubiquitous gaming invites players to reclassify passive media as interactive, everyday noise as meaningful experience, closed spaces as open spaces, strangers as co-conspirators, real-world problems as real gaming opportunities—the potential reclassifications are as infinite as the gameplay is ubiquitous.

Rushkoff observes: “Renaissances afford us the ability to rethink and redesign our world using entirely new rule sets …. I’d place my renaissance bet on the gamers’ perspective: the very notion that our world is open source, and that reality itself is up for grabs. For, more than anyone else, a real gamer knows that we are the ones creating the rules” (421). Who will specify what objects, sites, spaces, and contexts will evoke and afford ludic interaction in the future? I would argue that it will be the game designers, the game players, and the game theorists, and only those engaged in this game will have the opportunity to participate in what ultimately amounts to an epic act of ubiquitous reclassification, a fundamental restructuring of the everyday interactive code.

I have worked in this dissertation to document the first five years of this extraordinary open sourcing of the material world. All open source efforts require massively-scaled collaboration; so too does this ubiquitous play and performance project. My hope is that this research reveals the remarkable scope and density of the ubiquitous gaming network to many who may not yet be fully aware of their own immersion in it—so that they too can rewrite the rules, defining and theorizing new future limits of digital play as we collectively come to specify more intimate nodes of connection between the game and our real-world lives.