In Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk, Gaming Can Make a Better World, games are shown to have real beneficial impact to the world. Just as dice games are told by Herodotus to have been used to survive a famine, the traits that gamers gain from experiencing games can help them contribute to solving real world problems that are becoming global crises. I believe that locative gaming can contribute to this phenomenon with a far stronger hand than normal games do if the locative games are done correctly.
To start, what defines a correctly created locative game? Well, according to Ritchie, locative gamers are faced with really non-trivial effort when playing a locative game. This means that the physical steps that one needs to take to play these games properly are a very obtrusive obstacle. Gamers must be incentivized to push themselves over the obstacle and into the game for the experience to be successful. This incentive can be presented in a narrative that can overcome what Ritchie calls the “narrative value threshold”. Of course, games can have something other than narrative for their incentive. The point is that these incentives need to be intense to make the player play. To achieve this intensity, designers can apply the sting of urgency to their locative games. This urgency is often times neglected even though the consequences of its application are still experienced. By this I mean that locative games do not have much longevity normally because of circumstances out of the control of the designer. Knowing this, a locative game can be designed to be terminal and presented as such. This will give the gamer some incentive to experience the game now rather than later making it easier to get past the threshold. Of course, sometimes this element is presented even without a direct deadline. This can be seen in Pokemon Go. Everyone knew the hype would die eventually and that gave urgency to some people. They wanted to experience it before it was dead in the eyes of the community. What designers of these games should do is put a hard stop directly into the game thus creating the urgency.
Now that we have a “correctly” designed locative game, how does it enhance the gaming benefits. Well, at the most basic level, the urgency that is built into the game exposes players to urgency and the problem of thinking within that flustered state. Urgency is something we all have to deal with in life and is especially applicable to the major problems of the 21st century that threaten global destruction if substantial effort is not made soon. Locative games also help bridge the gap between the physical and cyber realms. This is quite substantial considering the end goal of using games productively is real world progress. The community and relationship benefits of gaming are enhanced by the special feeling of connecting with people who are going through the same experience while surrounded by those who are unaware. This increases the closeness of these bonds. Finally, the non-trivial effort that the player puts in diversifies the types of actions that are practiced by playing the game.
To conclude, I think that my logic is sound enough to apply my “correct” design to my own locative narrative if I decide to forgo the way of Twitter Fiction. I know this isn’t really risking much seeing how Dr. Farman stated that none of our locative narratives have lasted. Nevertheless, I hope that this method achieves the results I think it will.