time to switch

Final day

Posted in Design, doing, game, mobile, urban intervention by ajsteggell on August 26, 2011

On the last day of the workshop we were delighted to welcome guests Prof. Andrew Morrison, project leader for YOUrban, Institute of Design, AHO, Dr. Ragnhild Tronstad, leader of PLAYUR strand of YOUrban, Idun Sem, media developer, and Mikkel (sorry Mikkel, I didn’t catch your full name) an MA student assisting with the project.

Also attending were Prof. Anne Grete Eriksen, and lecturer Ingunn Rimestad from the Department of Dance, KHIO.

First Andrew gave an introduction to the iPhone AR Drone, aslo explaining  how it connects to his research project; stories of a future city told through the gaze of a genetically modified fly.

Mikkel and drone Drone

He also spoke of the Narrahand project;

NarraHand investigates building, authoring and researching mobile fiction. We’re interested in the creative, collaborative storytelling of African immigrants in Oslo. GPS and a mix of media are used to experiment with mobile genres for learning and leisure.

… as well as Immaterials: Light painting WiFi , consisting of a kind of light saber that reals invisible architectures that flow through our city.

Ragnhild gave a talk using various smart phone projects to demonstrate the boundaries between playing and playing a game. How can a play-experience attract people when winning a game is not motivation for participation? (Excuse me, I forgot to take my notes home, so I’ll have to fill in this bit later.)

mirror game
Andrew and Ragnhild show us a simple gestural game, a mirror game from Ireland; 2 people stand opposite each other, each make different gestures, when the same gesture is mirrored by both players they clap hands, and then continue the game. It creates rapid streams of both asymmetric and symmetric shapes and rhythms, and an intense concentration between players, who become bound together by the simple game mechanics.

Then came the challenge;

  • divide into 2 groups
  • each group has 15 minutes to devise a game or a play experience for Drone in our model of the city
  • the idea must be presented and then demonstrated in the model city

Many ideas came forth, but the two that were presented were;

Bodyguard;  the drone is your bodyguard and always flies above you, but its controller only recognises its client (you) by the white square on your back. There are others in the city with white squares on their backs who wish to steal your drone-guard. The challenge is to avoid them intercepting your path; if their white square comes into view of the drone’s camera it will follow them. To protect yourself from having your bodyguard stolen a good strategy is to find a slippery space (cannot be reached easily) and occupy it.

Points of view; the idea was described in the context of observing a theatre production from various perspectives/points of view. The drone is steered towards people via words uttered by the actresses or by the public. An example that was tested used the words “I” and “you”. If I say “you” then the drone comes towards me, and via its camera I show up on a projection screen from a classic film perspective, looking at you. By expanding on the system, many perspectives generated both by the words of the actresses and the public can come into play; everyone becomes players.

What I really enjoyed about this exercise was the speed at which ideas could be generated and tested; much quicker than my own idea of  Time to Switch, and producing a much more diverse pool of ideas. Quite striking was that the majority of the group had not met each other before, and yet collaborated so smoothly. What I found very striking was the ease at which we were able to enter each others fields of interests and diversities of competences/knowledges (as was also the case when Petr entered our zone with the Flirtman Race).

What a great bunch.

And then we had a great, though belated lunch!

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