Videogames replace voting
Interaction Designer Chelsea Hostetter about the ways video games can transform public space
Смотреть на русском | Watch in Russian: https://www.facebook.com/strelkainrussian/videos/10153993977613269/
Posted by Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design on Friday, September 16, 2016
My talk from the Strelka Institute in Moscow is live! Check it out above.
Спасибо, folks of Moscow for having me speak on games in public space. It’s been very much an interest of mine for a long time and I hope that you’ve learned more about some of the interesting digitally and socially augmented games that are happening around the world.
Some folks have asked me for the resources that I used to create this talk as well as links to the examples and so I’d like to provide you with a list, organized by principle, of all of the games we talked about.
First off, this talk was initially inspired by Paul Dourish’s book Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction, as well as the work that Katherine Isbister is doing at the Game Innovation Lab in NYU and her and Kaho Abe‘s work on Hotaru, The Lightning Bug Game.
I also want to thank ACM Interactions Magazine for introducing me to some of these fine folks’ work; if you want to be inspired by HCI researchers around the world, I highly recommend subscribing.
These public games span the gamut of advertising, research and simply fun games designed to engage the public in some small way and help foster learning, community creation, relationship building and sometimes just making something that is really difficult fun or at least bearable to do (sugarcoating). They remind us in a small way that when used correctly, games allow us to bend social barriers, connect with others and learn things we never thought we could learn.
Though games have most often been used to fuel dark patterns of gamification in the past, there is no reason why we cannot use these powerful tools in social and public spaces for good.
Games that teach us by exploration.
Treasures: The Hunt (London, UK): Created by the now-defunct studio Hide&Seek, this game celebrated the opening of the London Natural History Museum’s new Treasures gallery by sending the entire city on a scavenger hunt mission of London’s most intriguing and peculiar natural history sites—putting them in the shoes of the archaeologists themselves. Participants were armed with physical “specimen jars” and were asked to make a rubbing at each station where a new “artifact” was discovered.
ONTRACK (Swansea, UK/Waikato, NZ): Born of a collaboration between the University of Wales and the University of Waikato, ONTRACK is a musical navigation system that directs users by adjusting the spatial qualities of the music to help guide them on their route. The “direction” of the music and volume of the music is manipulated by GPS and whether of not the user is on the suggested route.
Paint by RGB (Austin, TX): Created by Jared and Joey Ficklin of argodesign, this massive LED wall of color reacts to users brushing it with paintbrushes by adjusting the color every time it is brushed. This installation allows participants to play with color and is a low res prototype of what digital walls may look like in the future.
Yibu (Shanghai, CN): Created by frog design in Shanghai, this digital game is played with five wooden toys embedded with sensing technology that the game responds to—light, temperature, directionality, acceleration, and sound. Children are invited to learn and interact with their environment around them guided by a polar bear friend.
Strengthening bonds by making something beautiful together.
Brooklyn Bridge Park (Brooklyn, NY): This formerly defunct cargo shipping and storage complex has since been turned into a gorgeous park, complete with a variety of games for participants to enjoy. One such area is a concrete area upon which have seemingly random lines and blocks of color which invite kids and adults to create their own social games.
“Untitled” (Placebo) (Various Locations): This modern art piece is a creation of Felix Gonzalez-Torres and features 1,200 pounds of foil-wrapped candies with the intent that each time a viewer takes a candy, they contribute to the slow disappearance of the sculpture over the course of the exhibition.
The collectivity project (Various Locations): An art piece by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson which engages the broader public sphere through architectural projects and interventions in civic space. The collectivity project is an imagined cityscape, designed and built by the public. Participants are welcomed to play together to build the installation, changing the appearance and function over time.
Yamove! (New York, NY) Created by Katherine Isbister and Syed Salahuddin is a collaborative game in which two participants must create their own dance moves—in tandem with one another. Wearable trackers on the wrist sense whether or not each person is following the others’ movements and a digital screen projects their score. This has led each participant to co-create their own dance moves on the fly in response to the game.
Making what seems difficult a little easier.
Pokémon Go (San Francisco, CA): The hit game made by Niantic Labs allows users to walk around in the real world and “catch” Pokémon, pick up items, and battle other players at gyms. Participants hold a phone where they can see digital creatures projected onto their everyday surroundings. The game’s success has made it responsible for many avid players going outside, walking, and generally becoming healthier, both physically and mentally.
Failure Toy (Toronto, ON): A new project made by Twenty-One Toys is creating a toy that opens up opportunities for parents and children to talk about failure and the opportunities that arise together. It is a physical product that allows children to create and construct their own toy, but includes failure built in as part of the learning process, thus making it easier for children to see opportunities in mistakes.
ChoreMonster (Los Angeles, CA): This innovative app featuring goofy monsters sugarcoats for children the idea of doing chores. Parents input chores into the app as well as rewards for the chores and once the children complete the chores, the app gives them a chance to win a reward. This has, according to some of the reviews, had participants’ children “begging to do chores.”
VR Care (San Francisco, CA): Made by the San Francisco studio at frog design, VR Care is an incredible VR headset/game specifically designed for burn patients in hospitals to distract them from daily, oftentimes painful, burn treatments. The headset is designed to be comfortable, moisture-resistant and easy to make, and the game features ambient environments the participant can explore using only their head.
Fostering compassion between you and your community.
Heart of the Community (Various Locations): Partnering with the Project for Public Spaces, Southwest Airlines is supporting placemaking, or revitalizing previously-unused spaces for public use. One example of placemaking comes from Detroit, MI where PPS and Southwest redesigned Campus Martius, an unused median in Detroit into a public park for play and use. This brings communities and families together in a newly-created community space.
99 Tiny Games (London, UK): Another fantastic project by now-defunct studio Hide&Seek, these series of mini games were hidden all around London to celebrate the Olympic games. The games were written on placards distributed at points of interest in London and intended for play with others (for instance, a card on the top of a bridge might ask participants to play a game by watching the people walking below) utilizing the unique architecture of London.
ilovebees (Various Locations): Made by 42 Entertainment and designed by Jane McGonigal, was simultaneously a promotion for Halo2 as well as a study in collective intelligence. A website, which appeared to be “hacked,” drew participants in with its mystery, eventually leading them to physical coordinates, to phone booths, to a secret theater where a pre-release of Halo2 was shown and collectively played. This created a close-knit community of players even before the game was released.
Vote As You Go (Sydney, AU): Created by the University of Sydney, these mobile polling booths allow governments to engage the community on the go. A few form factors include a large digital display with a motion sensor that allows you to vote by waving, or a polling booth that asks a simple question when it detects movement. This allows pollers to ask relevant questions of participants within a space as well as fosters community engagement.
This is just a small collection of fascinating games, and there are many more. This sector of game-making is in its infancy as referenced by the fact that currently much of the work is being done within universities, and I am looking forward into the future of embodied interactive experiences with gaming. If you want to get in touch with me or get more game recommendations, please tweet me at @chostett or continue the discussion at #design4play.
For those of you who have asked, here’s a PDF of the presentation for the lecture. Hope you enjoy!
I’m back again for our fourth and final installment of the interaction 16 Roundup: Day Three, where I give you the best four or five highlighted talks of each day. I’ll caveat this by saying this particular roundup may be biased because not only did Riaz and I talk on this day, I will be mentioning some folks that I know personally. Even accounting for bias, these talks are really incredible and primarily deal with cross-discipline lessons and intentional interaction design, focusing on what we can learn by looking outside our narrow specialty and from self-reflection.
NOTE: In the last roundup, I missed frog’s own Christine Todorovich speaking on the element of time in designing for interfaces for younger folks. Definitely check out her talk, This Young Moment: Interaction Design in the Age of Hyperrealtime.
Let the final roundup begin!
Chelsea Hostetter & Ahmed Riaz: Designing for Play: What Interaction Design Can Learn From Video Games
Part talk and part demo, Riaz and I explain that engagement is the next minimalism to strive to, introduce five new design principles from video games around the world (something other than gamification), and play an interactive game demo with the audience to highlight our design principles. You can find our follow up post with all the games we speak to here.
Samara Watkiss: Identity Theft is Scary, but so is Cancer: Bringing the Insights of Design for Behavior Change in Health and Fitness to Cyber Security
Designers working in the field of health and wellness have learned that just waving a terrible possible future in front of people does not motivate behavior change. In this talk, we will take a rapid fire look at examples of security interactions and ask how the insights from other areas of interaction design can be applied to achieve better outcomes.
Ricardo Aguilar: Designing Experiences for the Connected Car
For those of us who have designed for vehicles, we know this comes with a whole host of new design problems. From a brief vision of a not-so-distant automotive future, to the current best practices when designing experiences for the modern car, Ricardo will go through some common scenarios and UX challenges in automotive experience design.
Charles Hannon: Gender and Status in Voice User Interfaces
A fascinating talk on gender and linguistics in voice user interfaces like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. Charles explores what replicating language patterns in the language of AIs might serve to perpetuate gender inequalities, in society and in the new forms of human-machine relationships that are emerging today.
That concludes our roundup; interaction 16 was an incredible experience of some of the smartest minds in design today and I’m looking forward to participating in interaction 17 in New York. I hope to see you there!
(Credit to @janekatewong for the featured image.)
Thank you so much for participating in our talk! This is a follow-up to Riaz and my talk on Designing for Play: What Interaction Design Can Learn from Video Games at interaction 16 in Helsinki, Finland. I’ll be recapping the talk sometime later for those of you who haven’t seen it.
Some folks have asked us for a list of the resources and games we used, and so I’d like to provide you with a list, organized by video game design principle, of all the games we referenced in our talk.
Video games are across a variety of platforms and sometimes these games span different systems, so in my list I will be including only the latest system on which these games are available (assuming you don’t want to dust off your old SNES to play some of these).
Games which teach you how to play them as you are playing them.
The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker by Nintendo (Wii U)
The Last of Us by Naughty Dog (PlayStation 3)Grim Fandango by LucasArts + Tim Schafer (Mac, PC, Linux, iOS, Android, PlayStation 3, 4, PSVita)
80 Days by inkle studios (Mac, iOS, Android, Windows)
Games that utilize failure as a point of learning and growth.
Super Mario World by Nintendo (Web-based)
A Dark Room by Doublespeak Games (Web-based)
Scribblenauts by 5th Cell (Mac, PC, iOS, Nintendo DS, 3DS, WiiU)
The Secret of Monkey Island by LucasArts (Mac, iOS, Windows, PlayStation 3, XBox 360)
Games that allow you to interact meaningfully with other players.
TMNT: Turtles in Time by Konami (used to be on arcade/SNES, now only videos and emulators remain)
Tetris Party by Hudson Soft (Wii, Wii U)
Destiny by Bungie (PlayStation 3, 4, XBox 360, XBoxOne)
SpaceTeam by Henry Smith (iOS, Android)
(I would also be remiss in not mentioning thatgamecompany, which made Journey (PlayStation 3), which is an excellent example of a co-op game experience that nudges players towards collaborating constructively rather than destructively.)
Games that give you choices that fundamentally affect your experiences.
Heavy Rain by Quantic Dream (PlayStation 3)
Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors by Spike Chunsoft (Nintendo DS)
Spec Ops: The Line by Yager Development (Mac, PC, Linux, PlayStation 3, XBox 360)
Undertale by Toby Fox (Mac, PC)
Games that allow you to build your own world.
Super Mario Maker by Nintendo (Wii U)
Minecraft by Mojang (Mac, PC, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, XBox 360, XBox One, PlayStation 3, 4, Wii U)
Black and White by Lionhead Studios (Mac, PC)
Dreams by Media Molecule (PlayStation 4)
This is just a small collection of fascinating video games, and there are many other stellar games to choose from. If you want to get in touch with Riaz or myself or get more video game recommendations, please tweet us at @chostett and @ahmedriaz or continue the discussion at #design4play.
I posted on the blog at the Austin Center for Design that a fire had been awakened in me once I learned about graphic recording. I found it to be fascinating (as a designer and a cartoonist) and a tool I could use to re-engage with lectures.
Engaging in a lecture at school was easy enough, so I decided to try my hand at a more difficult venue: the IGDA Microtalks in Austin last Friday.
The IGDA microtalks are intended to bring prominent game developers, artists, and designers in the Austin community and have them speak for 10 minutes on the subject of their choosing. This year, the president of the Austin chapter of IGDA chose a topic: Home for the Holidays, or, why we should be developing games in Austin.
This is a subject that’s very near and dear to my heart, as I do development in my spare time, and I love Austin. I think it’s a perfect mixture of tech and art, and we’re in a space to grow and thrive as much if not more than studios in California or New York.
Graphically recording this talk was hard. I hadn’t realized how much I rely on pauses in conversation to finish up a sketch, or the extra time spent on a specific subject to plan out different parts of the page, but these sketch notes were much different than my first set.
Overall, I think that the talks were really hard to process all at once—there were so many speakers with such great ideas that I didn’t know where to start. Drawing in the abstract can be somewhat difficult, and a lot of the speakers had a lot of emotional discourse about what it means to be a game developer in Austin.
To those folks who spoke at the IGDA, thank you for sharing your thoughts and time with me! I hope that these notes at least did a little bit of justice to all of your fantastic talks.