We have already discussed how games are not just about playing anymore. Newzoo has segmented all game enthusiasts into eight distinct personas based on their gaming behavior ranging from playing to owning to viewing.

Now comes a time when games truly transcend their natural ecosystem to become cinematic or educative experiences. Or both.

Operation Jane Walk is a short film by Austrian artists Robin Klengel and Leonhard Müllner that they shot in Tom Clancy’s: The Division.

Operation Jane Walk on Vimeo

The film is a live footage of several players roaming the “snowy dystopia” of the digital New York as recreated in The Division. Instead of engaging in combat with other players, the players use rifle scopes to zoom in on various landmarks of the city such as UN Headquarters, the former Pan Am Building and Trump Tower. The cast of several urban explorers is headed by the guide/narrator who discusses “architecture history, urbanism and the game developer’s interventions into the urban fabric” to some spot-on soundtrack.

The film participated in a number of festivals since its release in 2018 including 15th VIS – VIENNA SHORTS (where it won the BEST AUSTRIAN FILM), 17th DOXS! – DOCUMENTARIES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH (Special mention), and 4th NEW RENAISSANCE FILM FESTIVAL.

It’s interesting to see how the filmmakers completely repurposed the warzone landscape of the digital New York under martial law and changed the in-game behavior to pacifist and exploratory even when challenged by other players. In all seriousness, Ubisoft games are second to none when it comes to the architectural fidelity. Remember how the Notre-Dame from Assassin’s Creed: Unity almost saved the real cathedral after a devastating fire?

Anyway, do you think it calls for the introduction of another game enthusiast persona? Digital tourist, maybe?