Ben Cerveny

Notes from Ben Cervenys speech; At Play in the Garden

Play creates surface
Playing defines our interaction abilities with the environment

We can model ourselves, each others, abstract systems.

We have rules, rules are the model of the system.

We are complex creatures, and we seek the complex. Too orderly => bored.

Chess is full of metaphors. Feudal system. The rules of chess describe the world at a certain point in time. Chess is a place to store historical knowledge.


MMOs are the new social game; You realize you are not alone in the game.
You are part of a social, collaborative moment – even when playing PS2 with your friends.

State machine

The AI of games are a state machine. It knows the rules of the game, the status of the game, and knows what actions it can take.

We are state machines in the world. Perception of life can be modeled, and is being modelled subconciously.

When playing game we internalize the models of the game, it becomes an abstract system, don’t even need the metaphors of the game anymore (wizards, orcs etc)

Media instruments

What happens in the gamespace / space of play.

Social tools and media resources like flickr are coming together to allow for play in creative ways. Playing is a creative act!

Simplicity => playing


Simulation isnt a game, its a toy.

A game has rules, and an endstate (winner/looser) – a toy is for exploring, experiencing, investigation of the rules of the system.