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EVENT: Playworlds: rule systems & relational art

by on March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 12:30-1:45 PM
MITH Conference Room, McKeldin Library B0135

“Playworlds: rule systems & relational art” by MARY FLANAGAN

In this talk, Dr. Mary Flanagan presents games and artworks that function to create emergent values among both designers and players. Arguing that agency is a key concept to designing play systems, Flanagan explores games, values, and the conceptual concerns inherent in the rule systems that constitute contemporary play, especially focusing on the implications of the ‘gamification’ of everyday life.

MARY FLANAGAN is an innovator focused on how people create and use technology. Her groundbreaking explorations across the arts, humanities, and sciences represent a novel use of methods and tools that bind research with introspective cultural production. As an artist, her work ranges from game-inspired systems to computer viruses, embodied interfaces to interactive texts; these works are exhibited internationally. As a scholar interested in how human values are in play across technologies and systems, Flanagan has written more than 20 critical essays and chapters on games, empathy, gender and digital representation, art and technology, and responsible design. Her three books in English include the recent Critical Play (2009) with MIT Press. Flanagan founded the Tiltfactor game research laboratory in 2003, where researchers study and make social games, urban games, and software in a rigorous theory/practice environment. She is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College. http://www.maryflanagan.com

A continuously updated schedule of talks is also available on the Digital Dialogues webpage. <>

Unable to attend the events in person? Archived podcasts can be found on the MITH website, and you can follow our Digital Dialogues Twitter account @digdialog as well as the Twitter hashtag #mithdd to keep up with live tweets from our sessions.

All talks free and open to the public! Refreshments are often provided but attendees are welcome to bring their own lunches.

Contact: Neil Fraistat, Director, MITH (, 5-8927).


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One Comment
  1. D.I.C.E (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain Summit) lecture on the future of game design, disposable game technology, and its integration with capitalism. The whole lecture is pretty interesting, but the real juicy stuff comes up at around the 21 minute mark. It essentially discusses the possible future of everything having digital sensors and wi-fi connectivity so that we are in a constant state of surveillance.

    An example he provides is that we’ll have Dr. Pepper cans that give us points for drinking Dr. Pepper on a given day and these points can later be redeemed for some form of service. A lot of these point-based and game-based integrations to our real life already exist and its interesting to see the driving logic behind developing these things.

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