Pervasive games

A pervasive game is a Video, Role Playing (RPG), or Live Action Role Playing (LARP) game where the gaming experience is extended out in the real world, or where the fictive world in which the game takes place blends with the physical world. The “It’s Alive” mobile games company described pervasive games as “games that surround you”, while Montola, Stenros and Waern’s book, Pervasive Games defines them as having “one or more salient features that expand the contractual magic circle of play spatially, temporally, or socially.” The concept of a “magic circle” draws from the work of Johan Huizinga, who describes the boundaries of play.

Street games

A street game is a sport or game that is played on city streets rather than a prepared field. Street games are usually simply play time activities for children in the most convenient venue. However some street games have risen to the level of organized tournaments, such as stickball.

When street games are based on organized sports the rules are usually highly modified to fit the situation, i.e. manhole covers for bases with cars or buildings for foul lines in stickball. When balls are used in street games, spaldeens are often used.

I’ve played a handful of different street games, in my day.

Night games

When I was between 8 and 10 years old, I lived in a small town in Utah, and my dad lived a mile away, or so, in one of the more suburban neighborhoods there. I was friends with the kid next door.

In Utah (at least back in the day), all the kids in a neighborhood would get together around the time that it was getting dark to play “Night Games”. I don’t remember all the details of these, but it seems they were mostly games like tag, sharks and minnows, etc.


When I was in high school, growing up in a small town in rural western Oregon, knowledge of an epic urban street game made its way to us. We organized multiples games of Fugitive during the summer, for several summers in a row, until (as happened in most other cities in which the game was played) someone got cited by the police for some form of disturbance or mischief. That was the end of the best summer nights we ever had (and I don’t think I’m alone in my sentiments about the game and its play). Some day I’ll link to the Wikipedia article.