Alternate Reality Games

“Role play is contingent on navigating between real and imagined worlds, which affords opportunities for allegorical thinking, exploration of alternate identities and universes, and creative problem solving. But when this boundary collapses, we have what Joseph Laycock calls “corrupted play,” a term that helps explain dark or weaponized ARGs. As he explains in his 2015 book Dangerous Games: What the Moral Panic Over Role-Playing Games Says About Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds, ‘Play becomes corrupt when it ceases to be separate from the profane world. Instead of playing for ‘the sake of play,’ corrupted play becomes entangled in the logic of means and ends … Corrupted play is not about intensity so much as duration. The frame of the game is lost, and what was once voluntary becomes compulsory … The moral panic over role-playing games can also be interpreted as a form of corrupted play.'”

—Jon Glover, “This is Not a Game.” Real Life Magazine. July 23, 2020.

Related: The Incunabula Papers: Ong’s Hat and other Gateways to New Dimensions.

“‘You have been searching for us without knowing it, following oblique references in crudely xeroxed marginal ‘samisdat” publications, crackpot mystical pamphlets, mail order courses in ‘Kaos Magick’- a paper trail and a coded series of rumors spread at street level through circles involved in the illicit distribution of certain controlled substances and the propagation of certain acts of insurrection against the Planetary Work Machine and the Consensus Reality – or perhaps through various obscure mimeographed technical papers on the edges of “chaos science” – through pirate computer networks – or even through pure synchronicity and the pursuit of dreams.”

https://incunabula.org/

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