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Meaningful Play 2010: ARG/transmedia panel

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Slides from our Meaningful Play panel presentation (Oct. 2010). Elizabeth Bonsignore, Rachel Donahue, Georgina Goodlander, Kari Kraus, Marc Ruppel: http://www.karikraus.com/?p=63

Slides from our Meaningful Play panel presentation (Oct. 2010). Elizabeth Bonsignore, Rachel Donahue, Georgina Goodlander, Kari Kraus, Marc Ruppel: http://www.karikraus.com/?p=63

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  • DEFINE ARGs?
  • DEFINE ARGs?
  • DEFINE ARGs?
  • EXPLORATION in ARGs is often open-ended; an audience can drift from site-to-site in search of links for hours, days, and weeks. But narrative, or more specifically, causal-sequential aspects of narrative, isn't open-ended-- it is a pathway that is located, marked and followed. While this pathway can and often is receptive to audience demands, to construct a narrative in an ARG means to construct specificity within open endedness
  • NOTE: OBJECT-ORIENTATION of ARGs
  • If it were only that easy….
  • If it were only that easy….Hutchins views platform combination as a property of both narrative and linked connectionPeggy Van Meter and Carla Fioretto: ‘New LITERACIES DEMAND THAT WE MUST PAY ATTENTION TO HOW LEARNERS INTEGRATE ACROSS TEXTS’ TRANSITION TO RUSHKOFF? Doug Rushkoff, cyberculture guru, also speaks to the idea of connections, although he expands it to include paths. 
  • NETWORK as spoken but unarticulated focus Peter Lunenfeld (2001): transmedia texts belong to 'an ever-shifting nodal system of narrative information' (15) in an 'era of network proliferation' (18) Steven Jones (2008: 43): the ‘networked' texts of properties like LOST ExperienceIvan Askwith (2003): 'such programs are now produced and marketed not as self-contained texts, but as the foundation of larger networks of related products, content extensions, activities, and spaces' (52)
  • Grassroots ARG set in the universe of the Matrix Drew upon media outside of world of ARGATTEMPTS TO POSITION SITES AS LINKED NODES (albeit simplistically)
  • ATTEMPTS TO POSITION SITES AS LINKED NODES (albeit simplistically)
  • In Metacortechs, the links were release dates; in The Beast, they are clues ranging from easy to hard
  • TO RETURN TO AN EARLIER QUESTION, WHAT IS A NARRATIVE PATH?We don’t ‘solve’ paths– we go ‘up’ a path, ‘down’ a path; paths take us around things and through things, but we don’t ‘solve’ paths. Even in a labyrinth, a path is only one of many– there are correct and incorrect paths.
  • PE:DA – prompts as modal integration (54)HANA GITELMAN– HEROES: path from GN to TV to Phone to Web
  • EACH SITE CONTAINSMULTIPLE LINKS, not flat surface
  • NOTE DIRECTION OF LINKSPATHS must be though of as something DIRECTIONAL; Metacortechs example– the gaps produced by a cue that doesn’t point ‘back’ to its source (or somewhere else) are places where interpretation and integration is at its highest
  • …where narrative and design work seamlessly to produce startlingly complex transmedia literacies.
  • Should emphasize the fact that the narrative and interaction are so embedded with each other / integral, it’s difficult to discuss one without the other…There may be some overlap with what Marc has presented.One approach for considering the two (narrative and design elements) might be to consider the interaction design elements as the edges of a connected graph, and the narrative elements as the nodes… [or consider the design elements as the scaffolding for the narrative that is the building they support….?]
  • Start with a brief comparison between traditional video games and ARGs, using the descriptive components of Exposition, Interaction and Challenges (or game-play).While the lines between these categories can blur and overlap it allows us an effective overview of what distinguishes ARGs from more established video games.Exposition: How is the game or story world presented to the players? What is the context and content that surrounds the game or motivates the acceptance of challenges?For video games, expository bits are non-interactive cut scenes served upon completion of a challenge or game level. As Marc mentioned, for ARGs, making sense of and following the path of the story is the in-game and end-game goal. While most video games immerse their players in a 3-D virtual world, ARGs are anchored in the real-world, using common social and communications media Interaction: How do the players interact with the game world? In video games, players interact with the computer-based characters and events, driven by computational rules and AI. Their game play input is executed via controllers, like joy sticks, or icons/mouse, text)In contrast, ARG players engage in dialogue with in-game characters in real-time, either via phone, email, comments to blog posts, in the physical world.The game/story is Malleable: Puppetmasters & players influence storyline in real-time, via conversations with “live” characters and collaboration amongst themselvesChallenges: What are the missions that must be completed, the puzzles that must be solved to advance the game?Again, in more traditional games, the narrative may provide context and motivation, but is not necessarily integrated with the narrative. In ARGs, they are in fact, embedded in the the story fragments…
  • Keeping in mind these contrasts, in the next 2 slides, I’ll focus on two ARG design challenges: - connecting the story bits (Marc covered this in some detail) - connecting the playersFirst, ARG designers are responsible for devising methods for creating and disseminating story bits across multiple media (video, audio, text) and platforms (phones, computers, physical spaces).Examples (MetaCortechs – following on Marc’s discussion) - Complex world, multiple story connections to traverse across several websites, phone numbers to call, emails to send… i.e., multiple modalities - The websites used realistic layouts and language: “Employee Directories” that actually functioned (you could search them); phone numbers whose messages you could actually hear - The puzzles were embedded into the content – example of former CEO James Avery’s employee data presented as a sequence of bits….
  • NEXT, if the players themselves are responsible for collaboratively re-/co-constructing this bits into a coherent narrative as well, how do you help them do that, Especially considering different levels of skill and desire to participate (e.g., hard-core versus casual gamers)?What structure do you provide for players to access the narrative? What tools do you offer to help them participate, to feel part of a community?What tools or incentives do you provide to get players to work together to solve a puzzle to advance the narrative?** But the ARG structure itself can lend itself to enabling players to express themselves in the ways that they feel comfortable – WWO examples of all the modes. Here the modes serve to enable creativity, reflection, and expression from players – they are the story bits.Unlike the rich, thick narrative developed in advance for MetaCortechs, WWO relied on minimal, thin narrative framework – and requested the players to fill in the rest of the structure with their personal stories…In fact, many ARG design teams have members with titles like “Participation Architect” and “Community Lead” and “Community LiaisonMany communities (e.g., Lostpedia, MetaCortechs) pretty much create their own guides/collaborative spaces (e.g., MetaCortech’s book, Mu)……others might use the general forums in umbrella sites like ARGNet and/or unfiction…In fact, we might use this player-produced content as a means to get players to help designers (Get the ILB example --- where designers felt the player guides actually helped them with their design…) A new technique in participatory design methods
  • With these ARG design elements in mind, take a little walk through the design process and delivery for AGOG, a “mini-ARG” that has become a seed for a larger ARG that several of us on this panel are developing for a launch in late spring 2011.The overarching mythology of the larger ARG is – - Worlds parallel to our own exist, if we only have the power to discern them; - Some historical figures are trying to communicate across space and time, leaving messages for those who can and will listen - Secret societies exist, the the member have skills and responsibilities to act as stewards of these messages and artifacts
  • Given this overarching frame, We wanted to incorporate one game activity challenge for this ARG during a recent Library Research Conference at the University of Maryland.During discussions about the general theme and our desire to incorporate 19th century history of technology and a steampunk flair to our activity, we learned from Georgina Goodlander (who you’ll hear from next) that the Smithsonian American Art Museum was one of the oldest buildings in Washington, and
  • … was the US Patent Office from 1836 to 1932 - during which time 1000s of patent were submitted, along with miniature models of the designs, which were put on display.We began to collect all of this historical data in a design document, looking for events and places onto we might hang some fictional (or counterfactual) paths…. … When it was converted to a hospital during the Civil War, Walt Whitman volunteered there to tend to wounded soldiers. Lincoln held his 2nd Inaugural ball there in 1865.… And in 1877, 2 wings were partially destroyed in a great fire. The fire would provide us the means to traverse across reality & fiction – a joint or node in which we could embed our ‘rabbit-hole’ into the fictional ARG
  • … Asked Georgina, in her “real”/authentic role as a program director at the Luce Foundation Center of SAAM, to create our “rabbithole” – the document with which we cross the threshold between reality and fiction….A “found” Cabinet of Curiosities document…….Also – are able to “retrofit narrative elements” based on serendipitous events – the Patent Models Index Catalog had just been published a month before the LRS-V conference. ..Take a look at the blog post for a moment – also look at the “font” (“subtly” move from regular to Italics as we move from reality to fiction…)** Also encourages and enables collaboration because she is asking for help from the players/readers.
  • … Interestingly enough, we were able to continue the fiction in that a “real” in-game character added a comment to Georgina’s blog post.She had found an old object in her Great-grandmother’s attic that came with a curious label: Cabinet 1171706. Upon googling the number, she stumbled upon Georgina’s blog post, and could ask someone with authority for information about the significance of the strange mechanical device called a “Kairograph.” She also left her email in case anyone (hint hint) wanted to email her…i.e., fictional character, working email.By this time we were ready for the panel session. Like Colette, we asked our participants to consider the 19th century culture of invention by searching for patents based on everyday objects we provided to them – drawer pulls, knife handles, belt buckles. They could get clues – encoded in Morse symbols.Their ultimate task – to imagine and create an artifact worthy of being a part of the missing “Cabinet of Curiosities.” Their prize – a coveted Depositary pin. -- Watch the video…
  • Introduction
  • The MuseumMore than seven thousand artists are represented in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, including masters such as John SingerSargent,Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Robert Rauschenberg.In FY10: 47,583 people attended 551 public programs. Regular programs include: Family Days Lectures Musical Performances Gallery tours and talks Film screenings
  • We implemented an Alternate Reality Game in 2008. Just to give you an idea of who are visitors were at that point: Half of our visitors were visiting the museum for the first time. Of those who were making return visits to the museum since the reopening, half had visited more than once. More than 90% of our visitors were adults, either alone or in groups. The average visitor age was 44 years. Our programs, exhibitions, and interpretation rating very high, but “activities and things for children to do” did not rate as highly(Donald W. Reynolds Center Visitor Survey,Study Highlights andFrequency Distributions,Fall 2008) We didn’t really offer any programs or activities specifically for 12-18-year-olds.
  • What’s in a name?We were also suffering for brand confusion. We share a building with the National Portrait Gallery. The two museums together are known as the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. However, this is just the name for the “concept.” The building itself is known as the Historic Patent Office Building. We belong to the Smithsonian Institution, which most people have heard of, but not many realize that it is composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. We also have a habit of changing our name. Since our collection began in the mid-nineteenth century, we have been known as the National Gallery of Art, the National Collection of Fine Arts, and the National Museum of American Art. We became the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2000.
  • ARG as public program We decided to implement an ARG for several reasons: to attract a new and hopefully younger audience, to engage local audiences and encourage repeat visitation, and to increase our brand recognition.We launched Ghosts of a Chance in 2008. It told the story of two fictional curators – Daisy and Daniel – who were being haunted by ghosts that had a story to tell. Clues were planted through various online social media spaces and the Ghosts of a Chance website. Players learned that they had to create a series of artifacts for an exhibition at the museum. The full game archive is available at Ghostsofachance.com
  • ARG as public programThe game ended with an event in the museum. This included an exhibition of all the player-created artifacts and a five-hour multimedia scavenger hunt around the museum. The scavenger hunt involved 6 quests, each of which was tied to a character in the story. Game tasks included: Text messaging Cake Looking out of a window and reading a protestor’s sign Looking for a jacket in the coat room and answering the phone in the pocketCreating sculptures out of foil Using sculpture to decipher complex code
  • ARG as public programWe packaged this final activity into a 90-minute version that we ran as a public program or by appointment. It began in December of 2008 and will end on October 31st, 2010. To date (Oct 19), we have run the game for 18 public programs and 57 scheduled groups. A total of 2,934 people have played.
  • ARG as public programThrough observations and informal surveys we have determined that the game: Brought new & younger audiences to the museum (chart) Increased our repeat visitors as players returned to play subsequent games (Return of the Spirits and Pheon)
  • ARG as public programProvided a fun and social activity that teens actually enjoyed (chart)(“If someone had told me about a program which would leave 15-year olds discussing art with the same animation they show for sports and movie stars, I would not have believed them!”) ("I felt like I was living in National Treasure.  The best museum experience ever“)Gave existing audiences new insights into our exhibitions and collections “[…] with such a creative exercise, we visited parts of the museum we’ve never seen before. [it]turned an already interesting museum into an exciting place of wonder, where every question led to another new discovery.”
  • Building CommunitiesI have already mentioned that Ghosts of a Chance encouraged repeat visitors to the physical museum. In addition, it helped build a community around the game and the museum: The game provided a platform for players to interact with real staff members through social and traditional media (Unfiction, Facebook, email, phone).Players responded to the fact that "the Smithsonian" valued their work by displaying their creations online and in the museum. This initiated an ongoing collaborative relationship founded on museum/visitor trust.(Comments)“An internet collaborative art display in a national museum? Is it me, or is this very frigging cool!”“What Ghosts of a Chance did well was invite participants to take part in the exhibit – essentially becoming part of the exhibit themselves.”“[Ghosts of a Chance] was really refreshing and definitely gave me a sense of community with the people who were coordinating the event and the other people participating in it.”
  • ARG as brandingGhosts of a Chance was a great way to get our name out there. Everything that occurred within the game was branded with our name. Trailhead: Bodybuilder at the ARGFest-o-Con event in Boston. The words on his chest led people directly to a page on our website. Game logos included our name or acronym Every page of the website included our name and a link to our website, and the background image was an interior shot of the museum’s courtyard Each artifact-challenge had connections to objects in our collection The final event took place at the museum and incorporated almost every gallery space
  • Ideas for AGOGWith the Arcane Gallery of Gadgets, there are a couple of things we can do with respect to outreach and building communities:We will create “live events” that fit into the narrative and allow small, local communities to participate in game activities. The hands-on event at the Library Research Seminar conference allowed participants to contribute ideas to the game’s narrative by creating possible objects for the Cabinet. We will facilitate online discussion through forums, blogs, etc. Make sure that the puppetmasters are accessible to game players in a variety of ways. Think about how to archive or consolidate all game materials and plan for how the community might exist after the game ends. (mention Pheon! Zombies vs. Knaves on Saturday at 11:30am)
  • Beth has already introduced the idea of joints or faultlines in reality. I return to it here to review some general principles. Subsequent slides hone in on bullet points 1 and 2 (counterfactual thinking underlies the invention of a category and the creation of new ideas by combining concepts).
  • I want to look at the cross-sensory role of metaphor and analogy in counterfactual thinking.
  • AGOG ARG: Historically, we know that the rejected patent models were casualties of the fire of 1877, as Beth discusses. Our counterfactual intervention involved the creation of a a *second* collection—The Arcane Gallery of Gadgetry—that was also thought to have been lost in the fire (but wasn’t really). Note the principle of similarity: we’ve got a single category (“lost patent collection”) with one real instance or member and one counterfactual instance. This example illustrates counterfactual principles at work in narrative, but what about other media?
  • Harris points out that the kind of imaginative work on display in the cave paintings at Lascaux, France and elsewhere involves thinking concurrently across fiction and reality: on the one hand, the artists were highly attuned to the material constraints of their environment; on the other hand, they ingeniously exploited those unalterable topographic features for artistic purposes to create imaginary worlds. The fissures and cracks on cave walls—literal faultlines—were transformed into bison or ox antlers, prominent neck veins, or the lineaments and contours of animal flanks.
  • Assemblage art: the key (or sounder?) of the Kairograph (or in counterfactual design. spiritual telegraph) is made using a butter knife handle (example of a design patent). Both a butter knife handle and a telegraph key share certain visual properties (long length, short width) that allow the former to function as a surrogate for the latter. The attributes of the telegraph key are partially mapped onto those of the knife handle (or vice versa). Analogy, similarity, metaphor
  • Visual expression of the Doppelganger motif in Cathy’s Key. Metaphor and metonymy on display: a paint brush metonymically represents Cathy, who is an artist; a cigarette butt metonymically represents Jewel, a chain smoker. Jewel is an imposter and fraud who steals Cathy’s identity. The two attributes are metaphorically combined to signify the relationship between the characters. The result is a visual pun that resonates with other ARG narrative and game devices (e.g., doppelgangers, ciphers, wordplay).
  • Portals between worlds are instruments of metaphor: The wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia is a good example. Lucy feels the soft fur of the coats in the wardrobe give way to tree trunks; beneath her feet, she feels mothballs give way to snow. Here a Chronicles of Narnia wardrobe tableau at a pumpkin patch leverages metaphor in the service of design: the fur coats are brown, like tree trunks, and hang in long columns to further emphasize their visual similarity to trees.
  • Metaphor at work in the design of medical and communication devices in an alternate world.
  • Player-created artifacts as interesting alternative or supplement to puzzles, cryptographs, and problem-solving.

Meaningful Play 2010: ARG/transmedia panel Meaningful Play 2010: ARG/transmedia panel Presentation Transcript

  • Alternate Reality Games: Interdisciplinary Designers, Designing Interactions
    Meaningful Play
    October 22, 2010
    Michigan State University
  • Narrative
    Marc Ruppel
  • links, Paths and Play
    What can an understanding of narrative contribute to ARG design? What can an understanding of design contribute to the narrative of an ARG?
  • links, Paths and Play
    What can an understanding of narrative contribute to ARG design? What can an understanding of design contribute to the narrative of an ARG?
    Narrative situates play; design segments narrative across platforms and modes
  • links, Paths and Play
    What can an understanding of narrative contribute to ARG design? What can an understanding of design contribute to the narrative of an ARG?
    Narrative situates play; design segments narrative across platforms and modes
    How do design and narrative work together?
  • links, Paths and Play
    What can an understanding of narrative contribute to ARG design? What can an understanding of design contribute to the narrative of an ARG?
    Narrative situates play; design segments narrative across platforms and modes
    How do design and narrative work together?
    Specificity from open-endedness
  • Links, Paths and Play
    Personal Effects: Dark Art (2009)
  • Links, Paths and Play
    ‘Each medium has its weaknesses: print doesn’t have the immediacy of video … video doesn’t have the mystique and intimacy of audio … audio’s soundscapes can’t beat the arresting impact of a photograph. They all excel in delivering compelling content and emotion, but in different ways. So why not combine them?’
    -JC Hutchins, author of Personal Effects (2009)
  • Links, Paths and Play
    ‘…if those are media or better ways to convey information in your story, then by God toss a link inside your book to send people to that website or medium so they can experience that so that you're not wasting words trying to articulate something that could just as easily or more easily or more emotionally convey a narrative impact in other media.’
    -JC Hutchins, author of Personal Effects (2009)
  • Links, Paths and Play
    ‘It’s an unexpected wish come true to be collaborating with the team at Smoking Gun Interactive, the first developers I've encountered who really understand the difference and potential marriage between narrative and game - between storytelling and total immersion. I'm going to get to work closely with them, writing narrative pathways that carry readers through the universe of the game world. We'll all be writing for and stealing from one another, developing plot points, set pieces, and characters that have both stories in the books, and purposes in the games. Players who have read the books will have a richer game experience; readers who play the game will come to understand the stories from the inside."
    -Douglas Rushkoff, on the subject of design in the ARG X
  • Links, Paths and Play
    Links and paths?
    Language of networks
    A ‘path’ in network terminology is a sequence of edges (or links)
  • Links, Paths and Play
    Metacortechs:
  • Links, Paths and Play
    Metacortechs:
  • Links, Paths and Play
    The Beast:
  • Links, Paths and Play
    What is a narrative pathway?
    How does it impact (or, how is it impacted by) design?
  • Links, Paths and Play
    What is a narrative pathway?
    Since links in an ARG often prompt us to synthesize multimodal content, migrate to a different site and combine it with the information there, links = migratory cues
  • Links, Paths and Play
    • Migratory cues [def.]:
    linkscomposed of content from one site in a transmedia/ARG network that points to content and promotes movement to another site in that network
  • Links, Paths and Play
    Most ARGs traffic in direct cues, i.e. website URLS, phone numbers, and other related means of directly engaging one medium in another
    A narrative pathway in an ARG is a series of migratory cues that create and mark navigation through a fictional universe
  • Links, Paths and Play
    If we understand narrative pathways in terms of networks, we can plot these cues and the sites they originate in as links and nodes. In other words, we can visualize these pathways as elements of both design and narrative navigation.
  • Links, Paths and Play
    X:
  • Links, Paths and Play
    X:
    GN at cue juncture GN after cue
    X ARG
  • Links, Paths and Play
    The LOST Experience:
  • Links, Paths and Play
    The LOST Experience:
  • Links, Paths and Play
    The LOST Experience:
  • Links, Paths and Play
    Kress (2003): ‘reading paths’  shift from page to screen = ‘new page’
  • Links, Paths and Play
    But as ARGs remind us, we also need to look for reading paths in the network structures of multiplatform expression
  • InterAction
    Beth Bonsignore
  • A few distinctions…
    Categories from: 2006 Alternate Reality Games White Paper. International GameDevelopers Association.
  • Interaction challenges
    “Game Design as Narrative Architecture….” - Jenkins
    Connect story bits across multiple modes of communication
    Provide a means to traverse across reality & fiction
    Embed puzzles & activities into story bits
  • Interaction challenges
    “What is the vacuum that I create that allows that story to be told ?” -Ecklund
    • Enable/Encourageparticipation & collaboration
    • Participation Architect, Community Liaison
    • Enable personal expression
    • Player-Designers: Opportunity for Participatory Design?
  • Parallel Worlds
    Historical figures communicating across space & time
    Leaving messages (and artifacts) for posterity
    Secret societies whose members may act as stewards of these messages and artifacts
    Design Case: AGOG
    Arcane GalLery Of Gadgetry
  • Design Case: AGOG
    Arcane GalLery Of Gadgetry
  • Design Case: AGOG
    Arcane GalLery Of Gadgetry
    1861
    1877
    1836
  • Design Case: AGOG
    Arcane GalLery Of Gadgetry
    1861
    2010
    1877
    1877
    1836
  • Design Case: AGOG
    Arcane GalLery Of Gadgetry
    1861
    2010
    1877
    2010
    1877
    1836
    colletegravure@gmail.com
  • outreach
    Georgina Goodlander
  • Smithsonian American art museum
    In FY10 (Oct 1, 2009 through Sept 30, 2010):
    47,583 people attended 551 public programs. Regular programs include:
    Family Days
    Lectures
    Musical Performances
    Gallery tours and talks
    Film screenings
  • In Fall 2008…
    Half of our visitors were visiting the museum for the first time
    Adults alone or in groups were the predominant visitor configurations
    The average visitor age was 44 years
    “Activities and things for children to do” did not rate as highly as museum exhibitions, collections, and interpretation
    We didn’t do anything for teens
  • What’s in a name?
    Smithsonian American Art Museum (museum name)
    National Portrait Gallery (tenant in common)
    Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture (building/concept name)
    Historic Patent Office Building (building name)
    Smithsonian Institution (institution name)
    National Gallery of Art (former museum name)
    National Collection of Fine Arts (former museum name)
    National Museum of American Art (former museum name)
  • Arg as Public program
    www.ghostsofachance.com
  • Arg as Public program
    www.ghostsofachance.com
  • Arg as Public program
    www.ghostsofachance.com
  • Arg as Public program
    www.ghostsofachance.com
  • Arg as Public program
    www.ghostsofachance.com
    “If someone had told me about a program which would leave 15-year olds discussing art with the same animation they show for sports and movie stars, I would not have believed them!”
    • 10th Grade Group Leader
    “I felt like I was living in National Treasure.  The best museum experience ever” -10th Grade Player
  • Building communities
    www.ghostsofachance.com
    “An internet collaborative art display in a national museum?
    Is it me, or is this very frigging cool!”
    “What Ghosts of a Chance did well was invite participants to take part in the exhibit – essentially becoming part of the exhibit themselves.”
    “[Ghosts of a Chance] was really refreshing and definitely gave me a sense of community with the people who were coordinating the event and the other people participating in it.”
  • Arg as branding
    www.ghostsofachance.com
  • Ideas for the arcane gallery of gadgetry
  • Visuals
    Rachel Donahue
  • Aesthetics
    Color scheme
    Font set
    Icons and symbology
  • Color
  • fonts
  • icons
    www.urgentevoke.com
  • layout
    Presentation
    Narrative
    Missions and Attributes
  • Immersion vs. Interface
    www.exoriare.com
  • missions
  • integration
    Kari Kraus
  • Design Methods & the Counterfactual Imagination:Joints or Faultlines in Reality (Ruth Byrne)
    Cognitive patterns & principles
    Counterfactual thinking underlies the invention of new members of a category
    It underlies creation of new ideas by combining concepts
    People often imagine counterfactual possibilities to the most recent event in a series
    Diagnostic aspects of a concept may be those that are least mutable (e.g., the prickly spines of a cactus)
  • The Counterfactual Imagination
    Joints or faultlines in reality (Ruth Byrne)
    Our ARG research suggests that these joints exist across multiple semiotic or sensory domains
    Relationship between fiction and reality often constructed metaphorically
  • “Reality shimmers with glimpses of counterfactual alternatives”~Ruth Byrne, The Counterfactual Imagination
    Counterfactual thinking underlies the invention of new members
    of a category
    Arcane Gallery of Gadgetry
    Rejected Patent Models
  • Prehistoric cave paintings: required an ability “to move back and forth” between reality and make-believe.
    ~Paul Harris, The Work of the Imagination
  • Arcane Gallery of Gadgetry: Kairograph
    Counterfactual thinking underlies creation of new ideas by combining concepts
  • Cathy’s Key (Jordan Weisman, Sean Stewart)
  • Chronicles of Narnia: The Wardrobe
  • KidsTeam: Working with Found Objects
  • Ghosts of a Chance: Player-Created Artifacts
  • Thank you!
    Marc Ruppell
    @marcruppel / mruppel@umd.edu
    Beth Bonsignore
    @ebonsign / ebonsign@umd.edu
    Georgina Goodlander
    @bathlander / goodlanderg@si.edu
    Rachel Donahue
    @sheepeeh / donahrm@umd.edu
    Kari Kraus
    @karikraus/ karimkraus@gmail.edu