Testing alternative forms of social practive in a video game
Spring Alpha is a networked game system based on Chad McCail's drawing "Spring".
This narrates the attempts of a small, urban community to create its own "utopian" society. The narrative is used as a metaphor for the real-world issues that the project explores and a focus around which speculative and critical ideas can develop. The software system serves as a "sketch pad" for testing out ideas for alternative forms of social practice at both the "narrative" level, in terms of the game story, and at a "code" level, in terms of working with the actual data and communication structures that support the game. It is an exploration of software and social governance in relation to Free Open Source Software practice. The project combines the development of an open software system along with workshop events that seek to broaden Free Open Source Software development principles into areas outside of programming.
It can be downloaded here.
Why do I blog this? What I find interesting is this:
The basic aim of the game is to change the rules by which the society in that world runs. This is done through hacking and altering the code that simulates that world, creating new types of behaviour and social interaction.