What pervasive game designers can learn from Snow

(cross-posted from sandpit.hideandseekfest.co.uk/blog

The snow generated a huge amount of comment about social changes. A return to innocence, a rare moment when talking to strangers, play, urban creativity are all allowed. A suspension of the usual rules of engagement… All themes close to Hide&Seek’s heart, so I thought I’d reflect briefly on what snow might mean in terms of games design.

1. Snow is pervasive. Well, that’s certainly true… It’s a unifying social event - more than football, Strictly Come Dancing or Brad Pitt, snow affects every single person underneath its blanket.
2. Snow is transformative. It changes everything. Speed of travel, acoustics, the way the world looks. It’s an incredibly powerful game-rule. Incidentally, when in a game has it snowed? And has the impact of snow ever been truly brought off in a game?
3. Snow is an enabler of play and creativity. Like sand, but even better. It’s affordances are numerous - you can slide on it, build things with it, throw snowballs. All complementary activities, especially building snowmen and throwing snowballs - bored of building? Start a snowball fight. Bored of fighting? Finish your snowman. Furthermore, this technology is non-digital, and free.
4. Snow reminds us of childhood, family, and fun. I was out at 7am yesterday, and the giddy sense of joy I felt recalled each REALLY BIG snowfall, all joined together in my memory, a Proustian rush of sledging, waking in the middle of the night and seeing the flakes under the sodium streetlamp, yells of ‘It’s Sticking’. Snow is the opposite of work - it’s ingrained in our minds that Snow=No School=Play.
5. Snow is a little bit extreme. It’s really really cold. It hurts your hands. You might fall on your bum. A snowball in the gob or a sledge crash can be a bit harsh. But all of these threats are relatively mild (compared to, say, a rugby tackle, or a F1 racecar crash.
6. Snow is temporary. It’s perfect when it lands, and you know, you just know, it’s all going to turn to slush and ice in no time at all. So you have to play while you can.
7. Snow only happens outdoors. Snow increases in quality, the further you are from traffic. Parks beat side streets beat main roads.
Anyone got any ideas for a pervasive game that might reflect some of the qualities of snow?

Views: 4

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of 38minutes to add comments!

Join 38minutes

Comment by Stuart Cosgrove on February 9, 2009 at 9:44
Snow also turns yellow with urination as do books and box-sets and games if you are not careful.
Comment by DebPolson on February 9, 2009 at 9:16
sorry... better info on the family version: http://newishmedia.com/index.php/projects/sms-treasure-hunts/
Comment by DebPolson on February 9, 2009 at 9:14
take a look at http://scootgame.com this game is originally designed for families to play together. Guided by virtual characters that SMS them quests from another world... the family groups move from museum spaces to city squares and parks... collaborating and competing with other families.

Four yummy things we eard them say:

1. "Now Everything Looks like a Game" Young girl
2. "You brought his world to my world" mother of 2 boys
3. "Im going to make my own game!"Young girl
4. "I just found myself learning!" Young boy

(However the latest version is for a University, helping new students to meet each other and orient themselves to the their new campus...)

email me with any questions... I LOVE chatting about this stuff as much as I love making these games and watching groups play.
deb@newishmedia.com

Members

Latest Network Activity

Karen Kerr updated their profile
1 hour ago
Karen Kerr commented on Nicola Sinclair's group 'Creative agencies'
"Hi all,  I am a freelance branding designer with over 10 years experience. I have worked in all types and sizes of agency and am now a one woman band playing to a merry tune with added jazz hands. Having taken a break from concentrating solely…"
1 hour ago
Karen Kerr commented on David Brown's group 'Wanted; Jobs, Skills, Resource'
"I am a freelance branding designer with over 10 years experience. I have worked in all types and sizes of agency and am now a one woman band playing to a merry tune with added jazz hands. Having taken a break from concentrating solely on freelancing…"
1 hour ago
Karen Kerr added a discussion to the group This way for talent
Thumbnail

Things are a bit quiet, so lets see who is still here?

Hi, my name is Karen Kerr.I am a freelance branding designer with over 10 years experience. I have worked in all types and sizes of agency and am now a one woman band playing to a merry tune with added jazz hands.Having taken a break from concentrating solely on freelancing to run and design for my husbands digital company I am now back and ready to get my teeth into some lovely branding work, where my heart lives.I am available to work remotely on a project if this suits your needs or I can…See More
1 hour ago
Mark Strickland added a discussion to the group Wanted; Jobs, Skills, Resource
Thumbnail

WANTED: Talented Web Developer for opportunity to shine

We have a unique opportunity for a talented web developer to join a brilliant digital communications agency, based in Edinburgh. To become part of an experienced team who’ve been delivering business driven, audience focused solutions for over 15 years.You must have experience of building CMS-driven websites in a LAMP environment, and preferably with experience in one or more of Drupal, Wordpress, or Expression Engine. You’ll be passionate about the web, and eager to develop your skills.Heehaw…See More
4 hours ago
Mark Strickland joined David Brown's group
Thumbnail

Wanted; Jobs, Skills, Resource

WANTED: skills, services, and products
21 hours ago
Malcolm Davison posted a blog post

Supercharge your web content entry using Markdown

Markdown is much faster than using the text styling features built into most content entry systems. Invented 10 years ago, learned in 10 minutes and loved by geeks, academics, medics and bloggers around the world - but who else has even heard of it? What is it and why are writers predicting that it will be the next big addition to CMS software? Malcolm Davison of 'Writing for the Web' explains its use and invites you to follow the…See More
23 hours ago
Mark Strickland is now a member of 38minutes
yesterday

Companies, Groups and Organizations.

Contributors

38minutes is run by a small group of
volunteers, including:

 

Nicola Sinclair

Site editor

 

 

 

Gavin Robertson

Groups Co-ordinator

 

 

 

Espen Brunborg

Runs the Web group

 

 

 

Ashley Smith Hammond

Runs Digital Innovation group

 

 

 

Frank McGowan

Runs TV & Film group

 

 

 

Brian Baglow

Runs Gaming group

 

 

 

Would you like to volunteer? Get in touch!

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2014   Created by Nicola Sinclair.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service