I love finding other people’s photos of my projects, because I only ever see the action from a limited viewpoint (on this occasion I hardly saw any of it at all!).
We spent yesterday afternoon moving around Holland Park in a Leisurely manner. Well, I didn’t, I was busy telling people about odd characters and how to attach vibrating sashes to their arms, but these guys did:
Thanks to everyone who took part in the playtesting and to Ant, Lucy and Emily for being the Drifters. Thanks too for all the great feedback – lots of very useful comments and I particularly liked that one person said that Drift had prompted him to explore unfamiliar parts of the park.
My photos are in this Flickr set:
Unfortunately I don’t really have any record of the interactions between players and Drifters, so if anyone has photos of any of those I’d be really grateful if you could email them to me or share a link or something…
Since the Sandpit was themed around movement and spectacle, I’ve also run the data collected during the game through Howard Rickett’s code (from the Ikon Postmarks group) to get a visualisation of how it took shape over time. The resolution isn’t great by the time it’s been through screen capture and Movie Maker, but it gives a sense of the drift unfolded…
There are unusual characters drifting around Holland Park. A person of your skills will have no trouble identifying the three in question.
A person of your skills who is also wearing a sash will be able to feel the messages one of the drifters is broadcasting…
bzzzzz, bzzzzzz, bzzzzz, bzzzzz, bzzzzzz ~ I’m in the open
bzzz, bzzz ~ I’ve sought somewhere more sheltered
bzzzzz, bzzzzzz, bzzzzz ~ I’m somewhere in between
Observe the drifters as they move and try and deduce which one is broadcasting about the space they are in. Don’t hang around too long though, because the one broadcasting will change!
These three are all about the drift. They will be watching for the sash-wearers who can hear them – they have something for you – but if you move too fast they will scatter. Likewise, if too many sashes close in on them at once they will make their escape.
Move slowly and smoothly; approach the drifter you think is broadcasting and gracefully offer them a gift. If they approve, and are the broadcaster, they may offer you something in return.
If they disapprove of your non-driftyness, or you have guessed incorrectly, you will not receive anything back.
You have two chances. Good looking and good luck.
The event is free and takes place between 2 and 5:30pm. Come and join us on the Orangery Lawn (near the café) for an afternoon of fun linked to the theme of movement and spectacle: “processions down pathways, walking tours, memories, hiding, scurrying, running, pondering and much more.”
A while ago I was asked a few questions by Nicola Whitton as part of her research for her upcoming book about games in education.
Twelve Propositions from a Critical Play Perspective:
- Values are everywhere, designed into play and into games
- The history of computed games has created certain types of interactions.
- These technical constraints have limited what we think we can do today.
- Innovation can come from prioritizing the human.
- Unorthodox methods spur change.
- Meaning in a game comes from the feeling of responsibility.
- A good game will teach you one thing, so you can learn another. In educational circles, ’far transfer’ is the holy grail of learning technologies
- Producing challenging work as an artist means that you are willing to break the rules.
- Games help those in a polarized world take a position and play out the consequences.
- Small change is good; Grandiose promises do a lot of damage.
- A lot of game design is about producing motivation: proceed with caution.
- Big shifts come from small incremental actions. That’s systems thinking.
Two pertinent podcasts that nudged their way into my awareness within the last 24 hours…
Shift Run Stop, Episode 55: Minkette (source.)
I particularly like the phrase “system designs that ask different questions”.
Below is an mp3 of the relevant excerpts, you can listen to the complete broadcast here.
Having grown up in an area slightly lacking in the way of side streets, when Mark used a description of Curby as a teaching aid I was pretty much baffled. What was this strange game?
Having come across Curby/Kerby/Kirby a few times since then, I’m now prepared to concede that it is an actual real life childhood past time.
In fact, I quite fancy trying it.
For the last three days I’ve been walking around the grid of streets around the Curzon Street area collecting data for a new piece of work. This walk took me along Banbury and Bartholomew Streets (pictured above).
As you can see, both are currently closed to traffic.
As I was walking past yesterday morning, a crane was lifting yet more of the concrete blocks into position at the lower end of Banbury Street. I’ve no idea what the plans are for these two roads or the grassland next to them, but I’ve felt a fondness for them since w i d e o p e n s p a c e [video] and would like to gather people there at least one more time before the diggers move in and we lose this little oasis.
Would anyone care to join me for a game of Curby?
Milton – the pathogen-introducing game I’m making for a Coventry school – gets its first playing on Friday, so I’m in full-on production mode making the cards that determine the players’ roles.
Here’s a quick peek at the bacteria who will be trying to infect as many pathologists as possible:
Can the pathologists fight back?
I’ve been working with a school in Coventry to help them develop activities for their Year 8 Flexible Learning Day focusing on science and creative writing.
As a result of this I’ve been commissioned to design a game to teach and reinforce concepts and vocabulary relating to pathogens: how they spread and how we can protect ourselves against the nasty ones.
I’ve had the school’s permission to release the game’s rules under a creative commons license, and the basic description and mechanics are now up on the Ludocity website: http://ludocity.org/wiki/Milton.
I’m currently working on designing the cards that will be used in the game and making sure they also double up as instructional prompts for the players – expect that ruleset to develop! In the meantime, I’m also soliciting feedback in advance of the game’s first plays on April 30th.
I was shocked when this lady ran into the room & said COME INTO THE HALL NOW- THIS IS TOP SECRET. We suddenly found out that our teachers were all agents named Agent squirrel, Agent pants, Agent ants & Agent elliephants. I enjoyed learning this misson it was interesting to see all our teachers undercover. I learnt how to break codes in the afternoon & we got two clues that tell us what is the answer to this mission & it carries on going and going until we find the last clue. I am excited but i am little bit nervous because we only have 3 days.
In the morning when Miss Yates had just taken the register agent N came in and she said EMERGENCY!!! COME TO THE HALL QUICK I was really excited but when we were walking in the corridors we had to make sure that we were undercover so we had to act normal and when we had got to the hall agent N told us that we were on a mission to find some clues to solve the mission.Then we had to go back to are classrooms and we had to solve some clues and we got some clues just in the time of 15 minutes and the first clue was , near a mans whos’s insides you could clearly see and we had to find a map and each class had part of the map and if we put it together it would make the whole map. Today I have learned that if we all work together as a team the mission would be done quicker because we only have 2 days left.
I have realy enjoyed day 1 of (Sssshhhhhh) code breaking I can not I repeat (can not) wait until tomorrow.
And I cant wait to see the map again because it realy I repeat (realy) looks like fun also I thought what we might have to do with the map cause it looks allot like a treasure map.So we might have to find another clue or something.
cant wait for tomorrow
see you, yours greatfully
(All these examples were added to a forum on the school’s Virtual Learning Environment after school had finished.)