The Game/The Artwork?

November 24, 2007

Besides choosing which of these potentially complex and multilayered ideas we would foreground, there were multiple tensions that arose when deciding what methods of representation and user-engagement we might use.  We debated a horizontal vs. a vertical screen interface, a 2D or 3D model, a sculptural or an illustrative approach.
We talked about whether we were creating a game or an artwork (of course, ITP is all about blurring those lines, but we thought framing it as a binary thing might help us hash out our real direction). While still thinking of the subway model, we wondered if the user might insert a stylus needle into the appropriate point to relieve traffic congestion on the screen interface – the goal of the game would be to relieve ‘congestion’ by restoring an even flow of pedestrian traffic to the subway. The connection between the energy flow in the body, and the transport of blood through the veins, seemed very connected to the transport of people around a city.

Ultimately we felt that a game interface might restrict the mode of engagement with the work – we wanted something that would interest people, but not simply test their reflexes or patience. Presenting our concepts in the way we wanted seemed to require something other than a game, at least not the kind of game I’d initially envisioned.

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