Im kind of sad & wound up that i missed this
the guardian review is fantastic. its right up my alley
"I've spent the weekend playing "pervasive games". When you explain it in the pub, your friends will look deeply unconvinced or froth with bile about devised theatre and geekery.
Yet such games have been spreading for a while. And there are all kinds of theories behind tem, be they flashmobs, freerunning or games of kick-the-can that encompass a city."
I'm unconvinced that Pervasive gaming is the same as ARG, they may be sub genre of a strand but they're of the same thing.
I see ARG in the same genre as LARP - a kind of fantasy world you immerse yourself in, the puzzles lay on top to make it fun where as Pervasive gaming i see as the fun of the adventure and puzzles are inherent in that.
i do see a emergent trend of Urbanites developing ways to 'play' in their city, be it a new form of urban letter boxing or other - its a entertainment a distraction from our increasingly serious and dull everyday lives, one that doesn't encompass watching television or being washed in the glowing light of epilepsy inducing video games that is consuming the young. however i do believe it springs partly from computer gaming (or at least RPG) it appeals to the non sporting types the geeks and the nerds, but those ones with social savvy.
it also springs from theatre (at least fringe theatre) the need to experience a consensual hallucination in the presence of others, there have been some fascinating developments in the theatrical world of London that i have been privy to in the last few years Shunt & Punchdrunk's have been gaining massive audiences in recent years. PD'sfaust has been the talk of london in recent months.
Other parts of the art world are seeing parts of this change too - sculpture for example Gregor Schneider's excellent work dead House & die familie Schnider - the latter of which i was lucky enough to encounter in whitechapel a couple of years ago.
i know a lot of people have been going on about "hybrid media", "creole media" or the "metamedium", and to paraphrase i think this stuff is hybrid Entertainment, creole entertainment or metatheatre - something thats merging and fusing two areas of interest.
shame im halfway around the world because this stuff is rocking my world - if secondhand