Fuck the Magic Circle. Do we need Games Ethics!?

Entrance fee: 
5€

Games Culture Circle: Fuck the Magic Circle. Do we need Game Ethics!?

Datum: Sa. 30. September 2011
Einlass: 19:00 Uhr
Beginn: 19:30 Uhr

Talkgäste:
Fares Kayali (Artist)
Felix Bohatsch (Indie Game Designer)
Sebastian Deterding (Media Reseacher)
Sina Kamala Kaufmann (Social Gaming Expert)

Früher haben wir Brettspiele am Tisch gespielt und Räuber und Gendarm auf dem Schulhof oder im Nachbargarten. Später gab es dann Spiele auf dem Computer.
Im Spiel war man im „Magic Circle“. Dieser ließ sich räumlich und/oder zeitlich begrenzen. Johan Huizinga, der den Begriff geprägt hat, bezeichnete ihn als „the arena, the card-table, the temple, the stage, the screen, the tennis court, the court of justice, etc, are all in form and function play-grounds, i.e. forbidden spots, isolated, hedged round, hallowed, within which special rules obtain“.
Spielen ist eine Sondersituation mit ihren eigenen Gesetzen. Die "Magie" erlaubt ein Verhalten, wie es außerhalb des Spiels vielleicht nicht erwünscht wäre. Heute spielen wir Spiele überall. Mit unbekannten Leuten an verschiedenen Orten. Zu jeder Zeit. Eine Spielwelt, die nach gemeinsamen Regeln funktioniert, gibt es aber weiterhin. Katie Salen und Eric Zimmerman nutzen den "Magic Circle" für Rules of Play, stellen jedoch fest, dass oftmals Metakommunikation notwendig ist, um die Grenzen der „Spielwelt“ zu definieren und auszuhandeln. Für Gregory Bateson waren dies "messages of the frame-setting type". (Ähnlich wie im phantasievollen Kinderspiel „Du bist der Cowboy, und ich der Indianer" verändert sich der Rest der Welt automatisch mit.) Innerhalb des Kreises gelten andere Regeln. Der Magic Circle ist der Schutzraum und schirmt die virtuelle Persönlichkeit des Spielers vom echten Außen ab.
Durch die Digitalisierung ist es nicht nur möglich geworden, dass asynchron miteinander gespielt wird (Multi Player Online Games), sondern dank mobiler Devices auch an jedem beliebigen Ort. Dieses Phänomen spiegelt sich auch in analogen Kunstformen wie dem Theater, das nicht mehr an das Theaterhaus als Ort gebunden ist sondern in der Stadt, in Wohnungen oder mitunter am Telefon stattfindet. Wir sprechen von Emersion. Neuartigen ERFAHRUNGEN. Ich sitze in der UBahn und habe möglicherweise ein Spiel auf meinem Smart Phone, bei dem ich Punkte dafür bekomme, dass ich mit meinen Mitfahrern interagiere. Wann bin ich dann im Magic Circle und wann außerhalb?
Und inwiefern unterscheidet sich das dann überhaupt noch von einer Welt, in der ohnehin jeder weiß, dass Wahrnehmung konstruiert ist, Realitäten verhandelbar und der Chat mit dem südafrikanischen WOW-Gildenkumpel viel bereichernder und näher als der Schnack mit der gartenzwergsammelnden Nachbarin, von der einen zwar keine Kilometer, aber Welten trennen? Angenommen, die Spiele, die wir heute spielen, haben den “Schutzraum” des Magic Circle längst verloren. Die Grenze zwischen “im Spiel” und “in echt” wird fließend. Wissen schafft Verantwortung. Brauchen wir neue ethische Standards für Spielemacher, und zwar sowohl für die, die sich die Spiele ausdenken als auch für die, die sie spielen?

This is not a game. Itʼs life.

Ariane Alter

Host

Ariane Alter started working at the radio station JAM FM for an editorial internship directly after graduation. Hosting meant a lot of fun to her but she was missing the motion picture.
Due to this reason she applied for MTV in 2007 and hosted shows like MTV News Mag, TRL or MTV Special. Since October 2010 she presents the Nintendo News on Nintendo Channel.

Fares Kayali

artist

"As a designer you always have to stand behind what you create. Thinking about the concept of the magic circle, most things I've done transcend its boundaries one way or the other. As games are distributed all around us now, do they act as replicas, subversion or augmentation of the everyday?"

Fares Kayali is a Vienna-based games researcher and designer. He made a series of iPhone games that got featured at several independent gaming festivals and his game art pieces have been shown at international exhibitions. Fares Kayali holds a PhD in computer science and is working as a postdoc researcher and lecturer at the Vienna Universities of Technology and Applied Arts. In his research projects he is designing games that expand beyond the magic circle and tap into their players' real life. His research interests include game design, positive impact games, game audio and music as well as game art.

www.attacksyour.net/fares

Felix Bohatsch

Indie Game Designer

"I do think that we game developers have a responsibilty to build meaningful experiences. Not just simple feedback systems that hook the player into spending another dollar. Players spend their most valuable resource on our creations, that is their free time. It's wrong to waste it with shiny but empty entertainment. We need to provide them with novel and exciting creations, that tickle their minds and imagination."

While studiyng Computer Science & Media at Vienna University of Technology Felix realized that Video Games are his real passion. That's why he moved on to learn more about Game Design & Development at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht. He was Project Lead for the award-winning indie game And Yet It Moves, released on Steam (2009) and WiiWare (2010). Felix is CEO of Vienna based independent game studio Broken Rules, which he co-founded in 2009.

www.brokenrul.es

Sebastian Deterding

media researcher

"Foursquare, Gowalla, Bunchball, Badgeville – it seems like the badge measles have taken over the Internet. From watching TV to fulfilling your hearts' desires: there’s nothing that couldn’t be made more fun by adding points, badges, and other elements from video games. At least that’s the selling proposition of "gamification", the newest entry in the dictionary of web trends and buzzwords. Carrying elements of video games into all kinds of markets and places, "gamification" seems the prototypical case for the way the "magic circle" between games and non-games is increasingly blurred.
However, this misses one crucial point. For "playing games" literally consists of two things: Games – a designed artifact –, and playing – a specific mode of engagement with that artifact. We can do very many things with games: We can test them, debug them, review them, design them, etc. Likewise, we can play with very many things: With sticks and stones, with cars passing by on a boring highway ride, with nothing but our hands. The "magic circle" refers to the latter: to the specific mode of engagement and experience called "play", to the social norms and conventions that come with it, and to the things players do to signal to each other: "this is play".
That opens a can of moral worms: Is there a point in the pointlessness of play that we might loose by doing so? Should we instrumentalise play? Can we? What happens to the existing social norms of play – like voluntariness, fair play or 'don't take it seriously' – when they get mixed up with activities of grave consequence? When does a "game" become coercion, so that cheating is the only ethical option?"

Sebastian Deterding is a user experience designer and game researcher usually flown in for some thorough German grumpiness. He publishes and speaks internationally on gameful design, persuasive technology, and the social contexts of gaming at venues such as Gamescom, DiGRA, CHI, reboot, or Google. His work has been covered by The Guardian, the LA Times, The New Scientist, and EDGE Magazine among others. When not designing, he pursues a PhD on the social frames of video games at Hamburg University, Germany. He lives online at codingconduct.cc.

www.codingconduct.cc

Sina Kamala Kaufmann

Social gaming expert

"Games - unproductive by nature, strongly irrational and driven by social rewards - are immensely engaging."

Sina studied philosophy, politics and international law, and in her research she focused on questions about identity and new media. She has recently published her first book, Politik im Web, about the social and political impacts of digital and technological progress, and was co-founder and editor in chief of Politikorange, a magazine for young journalists. Sina was social media advisor to the liberal party during the German 2009 electoral campaign. She is now responsible for providing corporate communication strategy, creating strategic partnerships, and managing wooga global public relations.

www.wooga.com

Uke Bosse

Host

Uke Bosse is hooked on computer games since he played titles like "Leather Godesses of Phobos" and "Bubble Bobble". He studied media, communication, acting and comedy and worked as game tester and standup comedian. His last three years he was spending as chief editor by MTV GameOne. Actually he found his mission as host of the satellite TV show "RedBull Play"!