Ludic & Social Media Interaction Design Principles in Smart Cities By Patrick J. Coopock

The article looks at the notion of Smart cities and looks at how ludic and social media interaction principles as tools for involving citizens to rethink the development of their cities, (Coopock, 2014, 111).


The article goes on to talk about how augmented or Alternative Reality Games that embody ludic interaction design principles “challenge and facilitate players in moving back and forth across physical and digital cultural space” (Coopock, 2014, 117). Ludic design principles can create a great sense of ambiguity as players cross both physical and digital space, it merges the real and the game world.


Johannes Huizinga’s notion of the “Magic Circle”, is often reffrenced by game designers. Huizinga used it to characterize the experience between the fictional worlds and the rule system of games, and rules of everyday life outside the game, (Coopock, 2014, p118).


“The This is a Game (TIAG) frame establishes player expectations and acknowledgements as participants in play. Interactions with the game system generate a ludic discursive universe in the This is a Game layer,” (p118, Coopock, 2014). As the players attention switches to the ludic universe the TIAG interpreative rules become active in the players mind, this sets aside the players real world knowledge so that the player is no longer surprised by things like how high Super Mario can jump. However some games also have a secondary system of expectations nested within the TIAG layer. This secondary system allows the player to develop a habit of believing that This is Not a Game. This is crucial for keeping the player in a TINAG state and is commonly used in pervasive games, (pervasive games are games played in public spaces, parks, museums, galleries) (Coopock, 2014, p118). “Augumented Reality and Alternate reality use these mechanisms by creating ambiguity between TIAG and TINAG,” (Coopock, 2014, p118).


The article goes on to give examples of games that have used Alternate Reality or Augumented Reality, and have used the principles of Ludic Interface design in order to engage players in the learning process “by revealing for them new dimensions of cultural spaces and places they already believe they know well, and interact with daily,” (Coopock, 2014, p118)



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