order of play
a nascent search discipline
la nouvelle société ludique
real player enthousiastes
ludics (Ludistik)

"For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and greatest enjoyment is - to live dangerously." Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science, 1882)


In 'ludics'(Ludistik) life itself serves as optimum game engine, especially in its bodily qualities. For the penseur maudit, the wicked thinker, life play and illinx (Caillois, 1958) become the main interest.

Riding the patabike: Ich spiele Leben Riding_the_patabike.pdf, article by Marguerite Charmante in Ludic Society magazine #2, 2006

The topic of Real Players is to be distinguished from the similar conception of Real Gaming. "Need for Speed 2" allegorates as titel of a well known racing game the doubletwist of the ludic Real Play. On one side the release number "2" can be ludicly interpreted as a metaphor for the second nature of games as life models per se. On the 2nd side it addresses the epiphenomenon of (racing) computergames implemented in real life. The crucial knack-point is the formal backlash on the way of how these games are performed in nowadays life and cities out of the area of computergames.

Banlieues, the suburbs in France and elsewhere are not built for living but for playing, either with cars or bikes or with your own body as a game character. The french le-parkour jumpers move like Super Mario over walls, and change their physical abilites and experiences by these activities. Adding properties - props for short - to game characters is a common practice in massively multi-player games. The artist as ludic socialite adds some props to the analog video documentaries of the le-parkours jumpers in banlieues: 1) a game status bar, indicating the play level 2) the massive re-pixelation of analog material, to give the look of a C64 game to the parcour real life clip Craziness, obsession, and individual style are indispensable features, both of the covered parcour scene and of the producing artists, who are at the same time in ludics constructors and collectors of the displayed ludic traces.


Real Players are art figures, con-dividualities, as conceptual entities for arts and other purposes. Ludics is linked to the etymological coincidence of the related terms ludus (=game), ludics (Ludistik) and luddism, (Maschinensturm). General Ludd could be considered as first Real Player. He led the forcibly desperate run of weavers on the new punchcard driven weaving machines (Joseph-Marie Jacquard, 1752-1834) at the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 19th century in England. In fact his identity was never clarified. His appearance as activist fictional con-dividuality could be compared to the progression of a game character, which can be used by anybody for certain purposes. A character is not necessarily defined by its faciality but by its possibilites of actions - as in a computergame. The chorus line of Real Players, investigated in ludics can be completed by El Sub Commandante Marcos, the masked south american Zappatist leader, who can never be killed or arrested because he is wearing the black racing mask (shure accompanied by a revolution-styled uniform cap). As another face-less figure (see Faciality, Macho 1998), he is an activist for indigenes as well as a DJ in a Berlin club.

Whereas General Ludd was still the project of a blurred play, the ludically proven real life model El Subcommandante Marcos masked his facial identity and thus became the mask of a social player that anyone could use - the cultural terrorist, DJ and real life player. "Everyone is El Sub!"

The goal is to show an empathy with experimental anticipative research on conceptual art plays, live action roleplaying games, computer games in at least a bidirectional way, both as source and target. Its topics are playful social practices out of games in real space and extended gaming zones (Alberto Lacovoni, 2004). It stresses the conceptual disjunction of game and play and its transgression into newly developed game structures for real life. Real Players incorporate a crucial role in the reconstruction of the rules of play as a vibrant element of todays ludic "Umwelt" (Jakob von Uexküll, 1909).