quickie dump of something I rambled about on ifMUD earlier- if anyone wants links to anything I'm talking about, toss up a comment and I'll dig for them.
I'm reading through The New Games Book, which I picked up used last week or so. I'm glad I picked it up, for a few reasons. It's a good history lesson on where a whole bunch of group games that I've played growing up came from, for one. Plus there are a bunch of new ones in here that I hadn't heard of, which could be useful when doing kids stuff at church.
Also, it's interesting to get a better picture of what the New Games thing was about, compared to the idea you get when reading second-hand bits from Rules of Play and another paper I found online.
The second-hand things I'd seen were very keen on the cooperative and community aspects, as well as the idea that everyone can innovate and create new things. But the original movement seems to have been very focused on awareness of the physical self and physical environment. I think it'd be great to incorporate more of that in digital games, but it didn't seem to be emphasized by others who were looking at New Games for inspiration. eg. It seems to me that PacManhatten would be a closer analogy to a digital New Game than, say, Second Life.
So yeah, it would've been easy to miss a big part of the original idea, based on what I had seen as filtered through other people's take on the movement.