Dissolving the Magic Circle of Play

Dissolving the Magic Circle of Play: Lessons from Situationist Gaming written by Anne-Marie Schleiner. This article provides the reader with a brief background of the Situationist group and what their objective was. Rather than discussing history in detail, she focuses more on games of today and how they apply to the way the Situationist wanted to play games.

First of all, she mentions how architecture is key to this type of game. Whether it be virtual reality, a video game, or an ARG architecture always serves as an obstacle or interest to the player. A derive is an excellent example displaying how psycho geography comes into play.

Another very important factor for a Situationist game is breaking down the barriers. Situationist games seek freedom. They want to destroy common place and bend or break the rules. Hacker of Second Life, avatar Gazira Babeli, made self replicating objects in the game. Other hackers have made it possible for huge avatars to be created, allowing for unexpected glitches. In all reality, its a way of pushing back. Fighting and resisted a “higher power” which can be in the form of the government at times. These games can be illegal or legal, and can come in a number of ways. Interventions in the urban environment is another example. Situationists firmly believe in shattering the “Magic Circle.”

To conclude, this summary of Guy Debord’s work written by Schleiner took an interesting path to explain the concept. She used old writing and fused it with new ideas. Either way one looks at it, Situationists pathed the way for the present day gamer. One who doesn’t want to follow the rules. One who doesn’t want to listen to big brother. One who thrives on the unfamiliarity of tomorrow.

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