v. 3.0
By Jane McGonigal
Design by Raegan Kelly

Author's Statement

PlaceStorming v. 3.0 asks you to trust a cut-up, the Dadaist practice of playfully re-arranging and juxtaposing texts to uncover hidden meanings, to speak for your research. So I trust the cut-up below to speak for mine.


You are locked in a room imagining, while we are in the streets doing.

I want to give you a feel for the city. I want to give your research a feel for the city. Your research is a public good, like the water fountains.

We can call this PlaceStorming a team building activity, or something. A "performance." A "game." Gives it a bit of a chance art feel.

What you had was fine. But I played with it.

Humanities needs a playful way of attracting the attention of others sharing the same space. Research that engages all senses: touch, sight, sound, smell and taste. Research that is easily sharable with friends. That can interact with the environment.

Use a parking garage, an elevator, a coffee shop, a phone booth, a public square, a municipal building, a court house, a mall, a river front, a light rail train, street, a sidewalk, a movie theater, a hotel lobby, a skywalk, as a broadcast medium for your intellectual property. Welcome to the public domain!

We are trying to create a joint article, community, brainstorming on the go. Public, not private. Research you are able to pass onto others ”" not just for self. Perform and inform! Share with others, anywhere but the home. Release it. Let the public interpret your work.

Your article is pre-written and pre-recorded and when you cut word lines the future leaks out.

Does collective wisdom emerge from massively multiplayer games?

Express concerns: I'm a little worried. The "experimental" nature of this, I'm not sure of. If I give them my work, I'm not sure they will read it. They will take it and not engage. They will take it and pervert my ideas. People are fundamentally not going to get this.
Not everyone wants to play.

I refuse to let you have it. I'm not leaving my room. My work wishes to be left alone. My work comes with a couple of strings. I control exactly what it means.

What does it mean?

PlaceStorming means: you cut the strings.

PlaceStorming means: make your own familiar strange.

Do I need any "training" in this? I have no idea what I'm going to do.

Come prepared to be mobile and outdoors. Work fast. Use the manifesto. It isn't the best map, but it is the one I have.
Report from playtesting: We needed the magic shield and the clog of invisibility at the same time. Just to show we aren't insane. Just more of how we want them to think different. I don't want them to be thinking about anything but being a PlaceStormer until we get back. I thought it was rather odd until you said the secret words: "Wow, I can't believe this actually works!"

I could have done more but I think this is probably enough.

So back to school work for you young lady - no more fun and games.

Why are you on here?
What do you think?

Fresh eyes would be helpful. Strange spaces would be helpful. Feel free to cut. Just change it. Co-conspire.

Make it better.


This statement was composed by cutting up and reassembling bits from 315 emails, 97 Microsoft Office files, and 109 Web histories. These 521 originary documents represent the intellectual and creative source code of this particular iteration of the PlaceStorming project, which began in January 2004 as a research collaboration between game designer/theorist Jane McGonigal and design anthropologist Ken Anderson.