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no city
Immortal since Sep 3, 2008
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digital cartographers, narrative realization. image workers & pixel [re]searchers. emographers. memetic mappers. space cadets. polytopians.
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    ...or that's what they call me.

    i remember an early example of AUREC - aura recognition (formerly referred to as augmented reality). it was called Add-Art - a firefox plugin (remember that?) that blocked all the adds on websites and replaced them with curated art, it changed every two weeks. i remember not seeing ads for years - the art worked is magic in its immersive native environment - it probably affected me more subconsciously than consciously. we saw in it possibility of freedom and control over our own experience of C(_)yberspace, unmediated by a purely economic interest.

    the big brands gave up on billboards and benevolently handed dominion over Default to the old school street artists and the smaller brands, while passing out contacts locked to branded layers to the people that couldn't afford the technology, with the money they saved on printing and renting billboard space. Why pay rent on a billboard when you could just as easily create a layer of reality, offer some value and watch the population grow, right?

    the fragile consensus reality, as predicted, did fracture, fractallize, into a multitude of collective realities. we didn't move quick enough. maybe we couldn't have moved quickly enough. the Brands did - creating unique layers of reality and incentivicing habitation - sweepstakes, gifts, contexts, services, affiliate systems, hard to turn those down - a huge fucking pyramid scheme, completely unregulated. fucking addictive. The more time you spend dialed into one reality, the more value you get in return. or so they make you think. some are walled gardens. some are exclusive and private - like those members only clubs in the airport, only for the big spenders - or the influential. not to say they aren't all bad - at the beginning there was some real creativity. But basically the message was, don't inhabit your own reality, inhabit ours. fucking tricked into thinking that you're active but its passivity all over again, bullshit Pavlovian model of freedom of action -a complete fucking unconscious subversion of the subjective experience. the population numbers of top layers are just as closely watched as the stock market. the most common of these layers follow the exact same model as in 2010 - providing a service to its inhabitants and offering them value in return, while auctioning your data and attention of to the highest bidder.

    I am a psychoterrorist, shifting the phase of the layers - blending, compositing - planting triggers - creating entrances and exits into alternative layers. This is my art. Triggers act as a virus encountering a host - a simple access command interaction with an every day object, and perception of the current layer is imperceptibly, or perceptibly, shifted. Sometimes we want to create a juxtaposition of layers, simply that. my colleagues, some are drawn to a simple addition of metadata to an everyday object - some do the same as the early street artists but paint with code. Some are satisfied with a simple prank, some with a statement, a simple but basic change to the virtual scenery, but the layer is quickly debugged. The more subtle the trigger, the better - users may not be even aware of the change at first. but the act of subverting one user's view of a collective reality within the context of networked vision and the collective view starts to get buggy as vision systems try to resolve the error. like a virus - the bug propagates itself as more views clash and collective networked vision deteriorates until the virus renders the host incapacitated. Then someone somewhere decides its time for a full system reload, but only at the worst case - the layer is not likely to gain back the population it had before after an attack.

    The breaking apart of a collective reality gets messy, sometimes. psychoterrorism is a considered a serious offence. the government has opened up state mental institutions again, more every day, research laboratories, case studies, experimental test facilities, to deal with the newest in brain diseases and conditions that come more as a consequence of schizophrenic branded realities than the actions of psychoterrorists (not to say there weren't some mistakes).

    I live in collage, dial in, drift out through networked visions, inhabit several layers and identities at once. my reality exists within the shifting perception and interaction with the multiple layers of metadata, simultaneously creating the hypersynapses between. with each migration, we grow stronger. this is the biggest banyan tree i've ever seen.

    there are still many who live in Default. but the barrier between the two, a line drawn in drifting sands. this membrane is permeable at its most solid. what i'm most afraid of is the bliss of ignorance.

    Am I the psychoterrorist? or are they?


    *images by Ishan of NotThisBody
    *part I of a yet unnamed series of posts
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    The Serious ARG (Alternate Reality Game)

    In a 2007 article, columnist Chris Dahlen (of Pitchfork Media) voiced a much-discussed ARG concept: if ARGs can spark players to solve very hard fictional problems, could the games be used to solve real-world problems?[37] Dahlen was writing about World Without Oil, the first ARG centered on a serious near-future scenario: a global oil shortage.[38] Another ARG, Tomorrow Calling, appears to be a testbed for a future project focused on environmental themes and activism. [39]

    Serious ARGs introduce plausibility as a narrative feature to pull players into the game. People participate to experience, prepare for or shape an alternative life or future.[40] The games thus have the potential to attract casual or non-players, because ’what if’ is a game anyone can play.[41] Serious ARGs may therefore be sponsored by organizations with activist or educational goals; World Without Oil was a joint project of the Public Broadcasting Service's Independent Lens and its Electric Shadows Web-original programming.[42]

    Their serious subject matter may lead Serious ARGs to diverge from mainstream ARGs in design. Instead of challenging collective intelligence to solve a gamemastered puzzle, World Without Oil’s puppetmasters acted as players to guide the “collective imagination” to create a multi-authored chronicle of the alternative future, purportedly as it was happening.[43] By asking players to chronicle their lives in the oil-shocked alternative reality, the WWO game relinquished narrative control to players to a degree not seen before in an ARG.[44]

    In October 2008 The British Red Cross created a serious ARG called Traces of Hope to promote their campaign about civilians caught up in conflict.[45]

    There are possible future Serious ARGs described in fiction. In his novel Halting State, Charles Stross foresightedly describes a number of possible ARGs, where players engage in seemingly fictional covert spy operations.

    In 2008 the European Union funded an ARG to support motivation for multilingualism within European secondary school students called ARGuing for Multilingual Motivation in Web 2.0 [4]. This project is now completed and papers on the project and the resources produced for education (a Methodology and Teacher Training guides) will be presented at the 3rd European Conference on Games Based Learning.

    In 2008-2009 the MacArthur Foundation supported an ARG The Black Cloud to teach US high-school students about indoor air quality. The project is active and allows teachers to rent sophisticated air quality sensors to run the game locally.

    - Wikipedia

    How is a serious ARG taken to the next levels - the extrapolation, actualization & dramatization of 'intent' to manifestation across realities? and what's stopping us?


    #Another example of that is ARG-like (for those who haven't heard) is Superstruct, by Institute for the Future. (article)

    #here's another great article on ARGs.

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