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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ambient Gaming

Interesting article from The Guardian Gamesblog:

Would you play a game that required no actual input from you, but responded directly to things you did every day? Where your in-game progress was mapped to your real-world movements, or your success against enemies was matched to how often you made a phone call?

This is the strange world of Ambient Gaming, a movement tied to Zero-Player Gaming. Titles like Progress Quest or the newly released Ambient Quest incorporate no actual interaction between the user and the game at the time of play, but play themselves out purely based upon the natural, ambient lifestuff that players engage in when away from the computer.

Progress Quest is a game where the player's only interaction with the computer is to start the role playing game going. Ambient Quest is slightly more "interactive"; the number of steps a player takes per day controls the number of spaces she or her moves in the game.
-- Ambiently gaming

I've been wondering for a while if there wasn't room for "mini-ARGs". Gamemasters (who could be players or AI or both) would serve as intermedaries between game data and participants. Actions would be recorded via email, text messages or web. A site would serve as a neutral space for common information. Essentially PBEM with a twist.

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