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Feature: Frank Lantz On 'Big Reality'

Do 'big games' like Pac Manhattan act as constructive social and gaming experiments, or are they excuses to run around city streets in ghost costumes? We asked area/code founder Frank Lantz, in this exclusive Gama
Do 'big games' like Pac Manhattan act as constructive social and gaming experiments, or are they excuses to run around city streets in ghost costumes? We asked area/code founder Frank Lantz, in this exclusive Gamasutra interview. Lantz explains how 'big games' are created: "Big Games are designed just like traditional computer games or analog games – the game design team creates the premise and develops the gameplay then refines it through playtesting. Sometimes games are designed for a particular setting, like a conference, where the players are the attendees. Sometimes the game is “open” and has to recruit players for itself. The target audience could be anyone, although sometimes its limited by technology to people with cellphones, or people with laptops or whatever. But basically, we see the audience for Big Games as anyone who wants to try something new." ...and also discusses how his background in video games made the transition to real-life games logical: "I’ve always been interested in experimenting with new kinds of games and game structures; I’ve also always felt that digital games were more properly understood as a subset of games, rather than as a subset of computer media. In other words, for me Counter-Strike has more in common with tennis and golf than people tend to think. Ditto for World of Warcraft and Chess. So I see the transition as being more a matter of focus, rather than a big leap" You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject for much more on this emerging genre of games and its links to the video game business (no registration required).

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