In Bebe Miller’s composition class. To make a solo dance that explores the dynamic, expansive use of weight through and around the body of the performer. To observe the structure of the solo and of its process. To translate or exchange that experience from a body to a digital artifact and back into another body. To allow these objects and these processes to influence/inform each other along the way. That’s what I’m starting to try to do with this project (while also tackling some virtual/augmented reality design challenges).
Archive for the ‘games’ Tag
So, I’m reading Miguel Sicart’s The Ethics of Computer Games and loving every bit of it. Well, almost every bit of it. Most of the bits. Anyway, while reading the chapter “Players as Moral Beings” I was struck by this passage:
“Becoming a player is the act of creating balance between fidelity to the game situation and the fact that the player as subject is only a subset of a cultural and moral being who voluntarily plays, bringing to the game a presence of culture and values that also affect the experience.” (63)
I had to read that a couple of times. Even after I continued to navigate the rest of that chapter, the “subset of a cultural and moral being” kept echoing in my head and becoming a point of departure for other understandings and considerations.
Sicart uses Michel Foucault’s ideas about power to frame the experience of playing a computer game. The player doesn’t exist until they engage with the game on its terms, and the game’s potentiality becomes actualized only when the player engages with it. The agent and the object exist separately, but the object creates the “player” and the player actualizes the object into experience.
I’ve started to to form some ideas about how this system of understanding could relate to teaching (which I think of in gaming terms anyway). The students are my players, each of my classes is a game or maybe a level inside of a larger game. I communicate with my students in real time, but the system that I have designed communicates simultaneously. I have been incorporating ideas that I have learned from game design into my teaching (shifting modes of engagement to maintain a steady flow state, introducing and integrating implicit and explicit goals, etc) and now I am starting to see parallels in the ethics of gaming and pedagogy (willing submission to particular power dynamic, those relationships having potential to create and inform). The information feels obvious but understanding how to articulate the exchange gives my participation in it a greater sense of agency (real, imagined, or otherwise, I don’t know). I want my students to see how they are participating and for them to consider why and to what end they submit willingly. I wonder how games and contact can present and challenge the mechanics of power.
That’s all for now.
I created an application for the dynamic control of a very particular piece of realtime generated projection mapping for an in-process theater performance that is being created in part at OSU’s ACCAD. The purpose of this application was to demonstrate the potential look of a visualization and also to be able to manipulate the imagery on the fly. Once the show is out of process and into performance, there will be far fewer controls, or many of the controls will be hidden once the look of each scene is set. My familiarity with using programs like Isadora and Qlab to create projection design for live performance gave me insight into what kinds of options would be useful to an operator. These are some stills from the application:
**best viewed in full screen on a stereoscopic display. (i.e. Oculus Rift VR head-mounted display)**
Short demo of a prototype I’m working on. The player uses the direction of their gaze to guide a sphere through a maze. A gallery of back-lit creatures watches as the player navigates the maze. They cheer when the player finds themselves in dangerous situations.
I’m interested in developing a game that responds to and provides consequences for different sets of player actions. Will the player seek out danger to appease their bloodthirsty audience? Will they navigate towards treasures to accumulate wealth? What might happen if they look away from the action entirely, allowing their curiosity to get the better of them? The player gets to decide how to “win” the game, which differs from the game imposing an arbitrary value system (time is valuable, race against time; possessions are valuable, collect things; curiosity is valuable, discover things; persistence is valuable, replay the game; etc).
Forward/Inverse: Gaming cross disciplinary methodologies in dance and digital animation
I created this application for my final project in Motion Capture. There are credits in the application, but special shout out to Caitlyn Trevor for her cello performance. 🙂 It actually made debugging a joy to hear her playing over and over.
The concepts are all inside the in-game documentation (as well as a bonus video of me dancing in some sweet mocap digs).
Have some fun blending different dance improvisation modalities and learn a little something about digital animation while you’re at it!
As always, you may need to install or allow plug-ins to play this Unity application:
I was experimenting with procedurally generated objects and animation in Unity this weekend. Using the scripting language C#, I instantiated a field of game objects based on a prefabricated object that has a couple of physics components and a trailing effect. I then translate the objects in a pattern based on some randomly generated variables and allow them to collide with and effect each other. The animation is slightly different every time, but always falls within the bounds I’ve set up.
I’ve been working on designing this spatial reasoning puzzle.
The puzzle pieces rotate and fit together in a bunch of different ways, forming one or more whole shapes in a number of configurations.
So, I left the puzzle alone for a couple of days and worked on other things. Last night, I was having a night alone in my sock-monkey onesie and thinking about ways that my life (events or the whole) could be reflected as a puzzle.
First of all, what happens after the “win state” of a game? The Stanley Parable (Davey Wreden and William Pugh, 2013) had me thinking of ways to make a game that is a game, but that has no conclusion. Conclusions are so Disney. Life doesn’t stop when you succeed at something. It’s way more complicated than that.
So, what if the puzzle changed the longer you played it? What if the more you try to force the pieces together, the less likely they are to fit together at all? (memories, relationships, etc?)
My spatial reasoning puzzle now randomly erodes the longer you play it. At first, a variety of possibilities. At last, a narrow set of limitations. Right now time is what erodes the game state, but I want other inputs to change it as well.
I don’t know if want to implement a win state. I kinda like that you just push the pieces around into some configuration that you find aesthetically pleasing and then enjoy it before it erodes.