Video games with less video
Discussion with colleagues here at the design school about "screenless interaction design" led me to present some projects that I find interesting in the field. It seems that there's starting to be a cluster of projects that aim at creating playful and digital interactions with less emphasis on the visual senses. Some examples I find interesting:
SAP (for Situated Audio Platform) a "Barely Game prototype" by Russell Davies:
"The Situated Audio Platform, a browser for geotagged audio files. The idea is that it only has one button, the whole screen, which you use to switch it on, and then you never have to look at it. You can leave it in your pocket, monitoring the world for tagged files, quitely pinging, while you listen to your music. Then if it detects something, you hold it at your side and sweep the area until you home in on whatever it's found. You could browse AudioBoo with it, or get it to read geotagged wikipedia files to you. That's the useful bit.
But if you wanted to do some pretending, and some stupidness, it could turn into a social fighting game. Where the files you explore are mines and traps laid by other people and you sweep and destroy them to stay alive. All while never looking at your device."
Oterp by Antonin Fourneau (development by Kevin Lesur):
"Oterp is a mobile phone game project using a GPS sensor to manipulate music in real time, depending on the player's position on Earth. It generates new melodies when travelling. The objective of Oterp is to mix the reality of our everyday environment with a video game. This is a new way to imagine our movements in a society increasingly on the move and dependent on mobile interfaces."
"Papa Sangre is a video game with no video. It’s a first-person thriller, done entirely in audio by an award-winning team of game designers, musicians, sound designers and developers. We’ve created an entire world using the first ever real-time 3D audio engine implemented on a handheld device. Which was BLOODY HARD."
It seems that there's a continuum based on the degree to which the user need to look at his or her own device: from no need to do this to a quick glance once in a while. Interestingly, this connects to another interest of mine: asynchronous interactions between the user and digital realms... which led me to this kind of design space (teku teku angel is a Nintendo DS game in which you have to walk with a pedometer to raise so tamagotchi-like creature):
Why do I blog this? This is just a quick note for myself about the possibilities of non-video pervasive games (what an ugly term). Food for thoughts for the laboratory!