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.)
I’m happy to let you know that the Day Two videos of interaction 16 in Helsinki, Finland are up and ready to watch. This particular day was extremely difficult to pick the best from since there were many great speakers, but the best speakers seemed to converge today around the topic of diversity and understanding different perspectives. Here are the top five from Day Two.
Jennifer Ng: Designing for Healthcare — Don’t Ask Me What I Didn’t Do, Ask Me How I Am
I know quite a few people working healthcare, and I think the question that so often plagues providers and doctors is how to best inform their patients of their options or current status so that they can maintain their medications or exercises. In this talk, Jennifer talks about the importance of compassion in design and of showing users that you care not only about their medication, but their overall wellness.
Henrik Rydberg: Confessions of a Creative Leader
This one is about creative leadership and Henrik’s journey of how to not lead “by a turtleneck” but rather lead as an example to others. Henrik asserts that creative leadership is more than finding a perfect form, much more than arriving at perfect concept. It is about creating a space and culture for creativity to happen and fostering growth.
Sara Lerén: All Inclusive Design – Excluding No Gender
Sara’s is one of my personal favorites—how do we as designers design for transgender, non-binary and other genders that don’t fit into a neat dropdown? It may be a small change on our ends, but it makes a big difference to the lives of some users. She talks of designing for outliers beyond the bell curve to ultimately get a stronger design.
Yonatan Kelib: How Can Diversity Enrich Our Industry & Our Lives?
As practitioners of user-centered design, we use research to identify our target users’ desires, and I think, in the process, start to chip away at our own assumptions on what a “user” of a system looks like. Yonatan urges us to go one step further and ask us how to unpack our own cognitive bias and hire for diversity within a team for better design.
Caroline Sinders: Designing for Consent: Using UI to Mitigate Harassment in Social Networks
With any social network or feature that a product has, the question “but is it safe?” eventually surfaces. Caroline talks about how design and UI can be used to stymy and mitigate online harassment, specifically within social networks. What would social networks look like if they weren’t designed to heighten usability but to heighten safety while still maintaining the characteristics and traits of that social network. What can design do to start solving harassment problems without changing the identity of the platform?
That’s Day Two; these talks were very reflective on the culture of design as a whole, and I think as we’re pushing our fields further, it’s important to consider the culture we foster as well as the artifacts that we produce. I hope you enjoy the talks as much as we did.
Stay tuned for Day Three; I’m looking forward to sharing even more talks with you.
I’m back to give you a roundup of some of the videos of the best talks of Day One of interaction 16 in Helsinki, Finland. As before, these talks span the gamut from not just the field of interaction design but to interactive art, mathematics, and romantic comedies. I’ll also mention that the lightning talks at IXDA were not recorded; I can only link you to the recorded ones here, but there were so many great speakers at the lightning talks.
Matt Nish-Lapidus: A Design Practice for the 21st Century
To all interaction designers: please watch this talk. Matt’s talk about defining interaction design principles within our field is not only something I believe can raise the bar on our own design, but his assertion that interactive artists are ones that are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an interaction designer is a fascinating one. He includes examples of many Toronto-area artists who have created unique user experiences for the sake of art and emotion.
Tim Paul, John Waterworth: Design patterns for government services: A community, not a library
This is a showcase and explanation of design patterns within the UK government’s huge redesign of gov.uk. Yes, the form factor is primarily a website, but it optimized so many government processes within the UK that were previously handled primarily via forms and fax, which constitutes a redesign of the way the government provides their services to their users. Their redesign work won them an award within the IXDA.
Antti Oulasvirta: Can computers design?
This was one of the more provocative talks at interaction 16. In it, Antti asserts that using a mathematical algorithm, computers can optimize the process of design for designers. It definitely touches at the idea of “can we be replaced by computers?” but I think it offers a more nuanced view into how to harness algorithms to iterate faster in design.
Angel Anderson: Love Actually – Experience Design Lessons from Romantic Comedies
I included this because not only is it entertaining, it also carries with it an undercurrent of deriving inspiration from media that is not traditionally associated with design. If you’re interested in learning more about how speculative fiction can inform design, you should check out the book she mentions called Make it So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction, which studies science fiction as an inspiration for interaction and visual design principles.
That’s it for Day One; there are a lot of provocative questions brought up in a lot of these; I would love to hear your thoughts on them. What do you think about Matt’s proposed interaction design principles? Do you think computers can design?
Stay tuned for Day Two!
I just got back from an amazing trip which was kicked off by a phenomenal interaction 16 in Helsinki, Finland. A huge shout out to the Sensel Team and frog design for taking home not one, but TWO IXDA prizes — Best Concept Award and Disruptor Award. Congratulations, Sensel and frog folks!
interaction 16 was focused on the future of interaction design and had a bevy of incredible Keynotes that I attended: they range the gamut from thought-provoking to heart-wrenching, and they are excellent views. Each of these Keynotes are phenomenal in their own right. Even though the focus was on interaction design, these speakers ranged to design in general, the Internet of Things, and AI, to name a few. I’ll give you the links each of the talks in order of relevance, with a short description for each. By the way, there was no good way to stack rank these; I highly recommend you watch all of them.
Cameron Sinclair — Designing Life
An inspiring orator, Cameron has worked extensively in third-world countries designing and working with local architects to create housing structures that compete with the U.N. He shares his principles on what it means to design for third-world countries and to empower others through design.
Kate Darling – Robot Ethics and the Future of Human-Robot Interaction
A compelling talk on how humans perceive robots and dispelling myths of the future of Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Kate Darling is a Research Specialist at the MIT Media Lab and a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center. Her interest is in how technology intersects with society.
Alexandra Deschamps-Sosino — Anybody Home? The Past and Future of Home Interactions
Alexandra focuses on, well, the lack of design voices within the IoT network both locally and globally. She was co-founder and CEO of Tinker London, the first distributor of the Arduino platform in the UK, ran workshops around the world and offered design and consultancy services to global clients.
Marko Ahtisaari — Design, Science, and Music
A teacher, entrepreneur and fellow at MIT Media Lab talks about how music affects our moods, behaviors, and how it can and has been used in design. He has a fascinating look into the new work that MIT Media Lab is doing as well as design work within Helsinki.
Tricia Wang — Designing for Perspectives
Tricia looks at what we mean by “big data” and suggests rather than “big” we consider what rich data may look like across nations, timelines, and perspectives. She traces the roots of perspective collision from 16th century Venice to the Oculus Rift, and shows that in the age of Big Data, designers have to break out from the single-perspective mindset to generate perspective rich contexts.
Joshua Seiden — Learning from Live Systems: A Design Approach for Behavior
One of the co-writers of Lean UX, Joshua shares his insights on quick user research and prototyping, using men’s lifestyle tips as the basis for a product he eventually developed. By launching services early and powering them with a mix of software and human “concierge” services, he was able to develop and test systems and ideas even as they were under construction.
As the videos get posted, I’ll send you a roundup of four or five videos that were highlights from the days so that you can vicariously experience some of the best speakers at interaction 16. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Happy watching!
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.
Now that you’ve read our story of love and mathematics, let’s get to the juicy part: how we made them! To start off our 3D prototyping, I started off with these sketches of the rings—I was inspired by the molding on this Indiana Jones ring to create an inlaid pattern with a smooth inside. The idea was for the rings to be as comfortable as possible, since both Matt and I use our hands for our work a lot, and don’t want to deal with inner engraving chafing our skin.
Matt then used Blender to whip up two 3D models, one of my ring, and one of his. We used a friend’s 3D printer to do the initial low-resolution prints (for sizing), and got about two tries in before we got to a good fit.
As a test, we wore the rings for a week around our left ring fingers to see if they were comfortable, and mine passed the test! However, Matt’s did not, so we need to go back and tweak his to be slightly smaller (his was sliding around a lot on his finger).
It’s funny to watch people’s faces when they see the low-resolution 3D print. It doesn’t look particularly pretty, so I’ve received looks from, “Oh…that’s nice,” to, “Why are you wearing that?” Well, designing stuff isn’t always pretty—the shitty prints have to come out first before the high-resolution ones do.
We worked on getting Matt’s ring up to a level that he was comfortable with, as well as adding siding to the edges of the ring to elegantly “end” the pattern and make sure the edges were smooth. Unfortunately, we could never get the rings up to a level of fidelity that we liked; the prints ended up looking uneven and jagged.
We learned an important lesson; when to stop prototyping in one medium when it isn’t working. In the 3D printing world, there are some things that are more geared towards 3D printing, and others that were not. 3D printing technology was not yet ready to handle the size and intricacy of our band pattern.
We decided we would take the opposite approach with our wedding rings. Instead of building layer upon layer of the rings like one would in a 3D print, we would take platinum bands and have them engraved down to the level of detail we wanted.
After looking over Yelp reviews, talking to friends and family, and getting quotes from our favorites, Matt and I decided to go with Calvin’s Fine Jewelry. Though most of the rings in their portfolio came off as too… diamond-y for my tastes initially, I’ve now learned not to judge a book by its cover. They did our engagement ring (cast in white gold from a 3D printed wax mold) and our wedding bands, and they were perfect. They have incredible customer service and an in-house person who handles engraving from CAD, so you’re not sourcing it out to someone who might have lower standards than the jewelry shop with whom you’re working.
We sent in the initial Blender patterns with instructions on how we were envisioning the rings to their expert, and the engraved results were fantastic!
These are machine-engraved, so we got all the perfect intricacies of the patterns—and they overlay perfectly, just like a dual. (Fun fact: the acrylic squares they’re laying on were laser cut by our friend Glisson for a tabletop game he ran with us for our bachelor[ette] party.)
We are really pleased with these; not only did they turn out exactly how we wanted them, in going through the process we learned a lot about 3D printing and prototyping. I’m looking forward to a future where 3D printers can print with this level of detail—I don’t think we’re too far off!
Many thanks to Matt Franks for letting us use his 3D printer, to Calvin’s for the engraving, and for Mike Reed Photography for the above lovely photograph! We’re so thankful to share our story and what we learned; if you have any questions about our process please comment below or tweet me @chostett.