Thursday, May 8, 2003

Play is different from a game

I love conversations with Stewart Butterfield - he *gets* social computing and his love of *play* seriously resonates with me and my research. Check out Thinking Outside the MUD, a Mindjack interview with Stewart about The Game Neverending. Stewart shared some of his comments with me earlier, and I particularly liked these bits:

Ludicorp's mission comes from something a little more encompassing that games: play is a much larger and more fundamental concept. We play all the time, even when there is nothing like a formal game going on - think of great conversations and all the verbal play,of "goofing around," of flirting, of musicians jamming: these are all moments where the creativity is flowing, you feel completely alive, and you are able to fully express yourself at the peak of your ability without even trying. It is the new possibilities for these kinds of states that we are trying to create. The secret is, even though it's called Game Neverending, it's not really a game at all. It's a social space designed to facilitate and enable play. The game-elements are there to provide both the constraints and the building blocks of interaction - since the thing you'll notice about the kind of play I'm talking about above is that it is the kind of thing that goes on between people.

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