Posted on Thu 18 Aug 2016
Making games in Bristol. Playing in public spaces.
The last two weeks we’ve been creating playful interactions and games in different sites around Bristol. Making games is quite new to us as we have previously focused on creating more open ended interactions, but wanted to try using game mechanics as a way to explore different spaces and encourage interaction between people and places.
We started by creating a game for Queens Square. We used how the public interacted with the space such, as where they entered the square, as a way to create rules within the game. The players had to move between benches using the actions of the public. Even though the game wasn’t quite complete we invited, Simon, Jaz and Tenya to come and play. This was really helpful as we iterated the game with them, changing the rules and adding new things to improve the working of the game. It made us realise how important it was to get people to play early on in order to develop ideas and try changes to see what works best.
This gave us a confidence boost to try and make more games for public spaces. We played hoopla on bollards and anti-homeless spikes. Subverting these spikes into something playful felt (with a bit more work) like a game with clear message behind it. The most successful part of this was watching people’s reactions at us playing, smiling as they went past, it felt if we had been there long enough people may have joined in.
After exploring Bristol a bit more we ended up on Bedminster’s high street and squares such as St Catherine’s Place, these felt like exciting places to make work and play. We started testing out a few things; using the benches and window reflections for a tool for communication; creating Crystal Maze-esque puzzle games with string, balls and paving stones and finding interesting architecture as tools for moving people around places. This is where we are going to spend the next couple of weeks testing these games out and seeing what kind of interactions interest us most. We are inviting people to come and play test on Thursday 25th August at 5:30pm, everyone welcome!
It feels like there are different types of interactions that are appearing:-
1) Games: These have specific instructions and players that have been invited specifically to take part. The players feel part of a different ‘game world’ unlike the passer-by who is excluded from taking part but can watch.
2) Playful Interactions: These are aimed at people encountering the work without instructions. The passer-by can interact with the work in an open ended way. There are no winners or losers, the goal is more collaborative with the space and/or people around which focuses on the experiance.
Hopefully over the next couple weeks we will find out which type of interaction really excites us and the people taking part!
Posted on Fri 8 Jul 2016
A short summary of our first very short, hectic and fun week at Pervasive Media Studio.
Posted on Fri 16 Sep 2016
With a month to go in our New Talent Residency, we've found a focus for research and development we've called, "Things That Say No", and also re-discovered our individual approaches in our collaboration.