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People cannot stop examining rules. Even of a game that everyone has played an endless number of times. Maybe the possibility to try to cheat without breaking the rules is what keeps it fun to start a game of Monopoly.

Mr. Monopoly.

This article presents the shortest possible game of Monopoly, resulting in a string of comments about the incorrectness of the applied rules and suggestions for better solutions. Recording the play session that can be seen in the video underneath, proved that this combination of turns would result in a twenty-two seconds session.

Another engaging version of Monopoly played in Utrecht a few years ago, but one addressing issues outside the game:

Statement of political party SP: Utrecht is on sale, played with empty wine bottles.

This blog article by accident neatly sums up what I’ve been developing to be a continuation of my master thesis on Deleuze and games. I thought: What if I compare Deleuze’s dynamic conception of the virtual to understand game play and confront it with the rigid framework that rules compose? Would one theory win or can they be combined to form another? Realising the difference between digital and non-digital games, I decided that pervasive games would be a fruitful area to look at to provoke answers.

Almost the same questions and premises are posed in the blog post by augmented reality (AR) research Blair MacIntyre. Only he develops his ideas from the difference between digital and non-digital card games. About the difference between them he states:

“I was thinking about the ways games enforce rules, and how board games and card games are fundamentally different than computer games. With board and card games, rule enforcement is left up to the players; they know the rules, and they abide by them.”

“Computer games, on the other hand, encourage players to do anything the game allows to win. Because the system is closed and the rules are enforced by the computer, finding ways to get around the system is part of the fun for many players.”

Rules as restraining element or as source for inspiration.

Besides the consequences MacIntyre sees for game design, he stresses how the challenging question is to be answered academically. Which is exactly what I was thinking of doing as my new project. Good case of synchronicity apart from the difference in subject between his card games and my pervasive games.

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