Future World Review.


Future World at the Art Science Museum, is the newest permanent exhibition available there. Covering an area of 1500sqft, Future World consists of 15 different exhibitions. The exhibits are so interactive that to me it is more of a playground than an exhibition.


 There are 15 exhibits within Future World. These are categorized into 4 different themes.


Exhibits by Theme

  • Nature
    1. Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – A Whole Year per Year | Ever Blossoming Life II – A Whole Year per Year; Dark | Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders

    2. 100 Years Sea Animation Diorama

  • Town
    1. Sketch Town | Sketch Town Paper Craft

    2. Connecting! Train Block

    3. Media Block Chair

    4. A Table Where Little People Live

  • Park
    1. Universe of Water Particles

    2. Create! Hopscotch for Geniuses

    3. Light Ball Orchestra

    4. Sketch Aquarium

    5. Story of the Time When Gods Were Everywhere

  • Space
    1. Crystal Universe

My Thoughts

Although the entire exhibition was very entertaining, I do have my favorites.


Story of the Time When Gods Were Everywhere

This is a digital projection where participants take on the role of “God”. By touching the symbols the participant “creates” all sorts of things from horses to elephants and even mountains, rain and fire.

Narrative wise it tells a story of creation where each permutation of this story is never the same. Every experience is unique making this a very good example of generative art.

Universe of Water Particles


The beautiful centerpiece of the exhibition. It is basically a simulation of water particles making their way down a 7 meter tall virtual waterfall.

The simulation is so accurate it brings a sense of realism to the piece but at the same time due to the luminosity of the exhibit it exudes an otherworldly aura. The end result being a very Zen like piece. Giving me the impression that I could sit there for hours on end just watching it.

Although there are no interactive elements in this piece it is still one of my favorites as to me it really represents the term when Art meets Science by referencing nature to such an accurate degree.

Media Block Chair


This exhibit to me was very enjoyable simply placing these blocks together or removing blocks from an existing structure changes the color of every other block. To me this physical interaction is the most honest.

The permutations of colors are endless giving you more incentive to play with this exhibit. In a sense this exhibit gives your the “Science” part and it is up to you and your imagination to create the “Art” portion.

Crystal Universe


This one is one of the most beautiful exhibits I have ever seen. Using a multitude of LED lights, this exhibit gives the viewer the experience of seeing stars move through space and even encounter things like planets, galaxies and gravitational waves.

But that’s not all! The exhibit allows users to alter the “universe” with the use of their smartphones. Changing the environment interactively.

This interaction adds so much more appeal to the already beautiful exhibit. Which is a wonderful example of interactive spaces.

All in all this exhibit brings to mind just how small my existence is with regard to the universe. It is a very humbling thought.

In terms of narratives this exhibit takes you on a journey of discovery to unnamed planets and galaxies in a sense putting the viewer in the role of a space traveler or an omnipresent being.

Having this exhibit at the very end of Future World leaves you with a very lasting impression.


Future World is a wonderful experience. I would definitely pay the $22 again to go an view it one more time. Not only does it provide entertainment which sets it apart from may art exhibits, it also teaches me lessons in interactive spaces and provides insights into more abstract narratives. The kind of narratives that is not spoken or described in words but felt through visuals and sounds.

Gone Home Review.


Every place  has a story to tell, homes especially. For the people that live there every random item on the wall, every dent in the furniture can be part of their shared history as a family. Gone Home is a game about pure discovery. Discovery into the lives of the Greenbriars. There are no enemies to fight, no puzzles to solve just a house to explore.



You play as Kaitlin Greenbriar the elder of the 2 sisters in the Greenbriar family. Kaitlin has just come home from a year long trip around Europe and returns to an ominously empty house. It is now up to Kaitlin to explore the house and discover the events that happened in her absence.


The game is more about the other characters than the main character which is unlike most other games.


Since Kaitlin is the main character I’m going to start with her. Nothing much is told about Kaitlin mostly because the house is a place she has never been to. Kaitlin’s personality is depicted through post cards she sends home from her travels but for the most part Kaitlin is the vehicle in which you experience the story of Gone Home.

Moving through the house you notice that the game tells a very believable story from a very specific time the 1990s to be exact as we can tell from the collection of video tapes and notes to given to Sam(Kaitlin’s sister) by her friends.


The game slowly reveals the story in the form of notes, audio logs and paraphernalia around the house. A lot of the items around the house add context to the situation the family, the personalities of the characters and the troubles the characters are facing. E.g. Books found on Parenting show that the Father and Mother are having trouble with Sam, books about dealing with loneliness lend some context to Sam’s problems.


The game respects your intelligence and lets you figure out how each piece of information links to another.


These are the conclusions I came to at the end of the story.


The House: Inherited from the Uncle in the story. Although the Greenbriars have been living here for almost a year, they don’t seem to be very comfortable here. This is evidenced by boxes of personal effects still left unopened suggesting that they have never moved in fully.

The game also suggests that the occupants of the house do not really interact with each other.

The Parents: Jan and Terry Greenbriar, have a failing marriage mostly due to Terry’s depression.

The Father: A writer who sunk into depression and is obsessed with the JFK murder in 1963. A failing writer stuck in the past. His troubles are evidenced by the well appointed wet bar in the house and the bottle of booze in the study. Spends most of his time in the study and the library.

The Mother: Spends her time in the art studio and the kitchen. Due to her failing marriage it is also hinted that she was having an affair with a co-worker. This is shown by the note she received from a girlfriend of hers and the concert tickets.

Sam: A troubled kid growing up in a new place away from her friends and experiencing extreme loneliness. She is in love and is desperately trying to hold on to it. Sam spends all of her time in her room, the secret servants quarters and the attic.

The Uncle: The Greenbriars inherited the estate from him. It is shown that he has a drug problem from the contents of his safe and the fact that he sold his pharmacy as evidenced from his letter to his sister who unfortunately mailed it back without opening it. He died a regretful, lonely man.

The upside: The story takes a turn for the better leaving you with a sense of satisfaction at the end. Her mother did not go for the concert with the male-coworker, it is evidenced that that coworker has an out of town girlfriend and married her 2 days prior to the game’s start. The mother considered attending the wedding but decided against it in favor of going to a couples counseling retreat with the father suggesting that Kaitlin’s parents are trying to reconcile.

The father has found a new publisher and is doing relatively well, he has also got over the JFK murder and instead chose to write about the life of JFK himself.

Sam decided to elope with Lonnie(Sam’s love), although it seems bad but her letters take on a happier tone toward the end suggesting that she is happy.

The only person who had a tragic end was the Uncle. But I feel that the fact he conferred the estate to the Father shows that he is trying to reach out to the Father even in his death. The fact the the Greenbriar family moved in to the house shows that his attempt was successful.


This game is a great example of a fragmented narrative it lets you pick up information from anywhere in the game (mostly) and piece the information together by yourself sort of like a narrative jigsaw puzzle. Unlike games like HerStory or Everyone’s gone to Rapture it does not have the premise of following leads or a ball of light leading you to find out things. It lets you discover the game and advance in the story at your own pace making it feel very honest.

Garden of the Forking Paths



Garden of the Forking Paths is a 1941 short story by writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges. This work has been referenced many times by the new media scholars due to its concept of time and style of writing.


In a nutshell Garden of the Forking Paths is about a German spy named Tsun on his final mission. He heads over to the house of a man named Albert where the crux of the story is told and kills him at the end to send information to his superiors in Germany.

Thoughts on the Beginning

The story is opens with what looks to be an excerpt from a history book giving a little bit of context to the setting of the story. This is followed by a account of the events that follow from the perspective of Tsun. Before that there is a line that says,

The following statement, dictated, reread and signed by Dr. Yu Tsun, former professor of English at the Hochschule at Tsingtao, throws an unsuspected light over the whole affair. The first two pages of the document are missing.

This makes it seem like a deposition. The deposition of Tsun after being caught.

Thoughts on the Meeting with Albert

Tsun decides to travel to Albert’s home and a conversation about Tsun’s ancestor Tsun Pen (TP) occurs. Context of who TP is, is given during Tsun’s walk through the maze toward Albert’s residence. TP was a governor who threw his whole career away to pursue a “novel” titled “Garden of the Forking Paths”. This novel seemed to make no sense as characters thought dead come back to life in a later chapter.

Albert explains that the book is a representation of time where all the possibilities of a choice a character has to make is written and expressed creating a “branching” of time but on the other hand, sometimes no matter what the choice the result is the same meaning a “convergence” of time. To me this “convergence” alludes to concepts of destiny and fate.

In my opinion, this concept reminds me of games like “Bioshock Infinite”. Where at the end Booker is taken to see different possibilities of his and his daughter’s lives.


It also reminds me a lot about those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. These books also state multiple possibilities of a character and the choices he has to make. When these books are read from cover to cover they don’t make sense but if you follow the page numbers at the bottom of each section a narrative is told is a coherent manner. Which in my opinion is exactly like this “Garden of the Forking Paths”.


In conclusion on this topic “Garden of the Forking Paths” is an allusion of time where the “garden” is time and the “forking paths”are the choices one has to make.

In the book it says:

I leave to the various futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths.

In my opinion “I” refers to that permutation of the person while “Various futures” mean future choices and “not to all” probably means he has already made a choice so that “permutation” of himself has already removed the possibilities of certain events. This is further supported by Tsun’s lament that

everything happens to a man precisely, precisely now

Thoughts on the Ending

Tsun kills Albert shocking me, but how Borges ends the story with only one paragraph to go is masterful.

The rest is unreal, insignificant. Madden broke in, arrested me. I have been condemned to the gallows. I have won out abominably; I have communicated to Berlin the secret name of the city they must attack. They bombed it yesterday; I read it in the same papers that offered to England the mystery of the learned Sinologist Stephen Albert who was murdered by a stranger, one Yu Tsun. The Chief had deciphered this mystery. He knew my problem was to indicate (through the uproar of the war) the city called Albert, and that I had found no other means to do so than to kill a man of that name. He does not know (no one can know) my innumerable contrition and weariness.

The words “unreal, insignificant” is in relation to the many other possibilities of the situation and choices he had to make. His real goal of killing Albert was to tell “The Chief” the name of the city the Germans had to bomb.

This decision that Tsun made haunts him to the end.



Although the story was an interesting read, the concepts introduced during the conversation with Albert leads you to see things in a new light. In this “light” the events of the story is comparatively insignificant to the grand scheme of time which like a spider web branches, converges and expands infinitely.

The Monomyth of Kingdom



Kingdom (2015) is a retro pixel art game where you play as a King riding a horse around a side-scroller world. The objective of the game is to build a Kingdom and fend of the shadows of the night.

All the player can do is move left and right and drop money to pay for buildings or hire peasants. This unique minimalist gameplay mechanic is what makes the game interesting. The game also provides very little instructions and requires the player to make discoveries of his/her own.

The Monomyth

The Ordinary World


The player first appears as a king on a horse in a seemingly peaceful world with lush pixel forests and woodland creatures.

A solitary King carries the crown to a new land…

-Kingdom 2015

Call to Adventure

The as the player explores a little further he sees the title of the game Kingdom which presents itself as a stone sculpture. It crumbles. As the player walks further on he sees coins prompting you to move forward.

Refusal of the Call

After the first night players will soon realize the vulnerability of their position and may be scared of wandering from their camp. But soon they will realize that in order to defend against the enemy and progress through the game he will have to take the risk.

Meeting with the Mentor


Eventually the player will approach a campfire and is given the instructions:

Hold down X to light a fire

-Kingdom 2015


After the player lights the campfire structures begin to form around the area wandering NPCs start to appear and another prompt appears

Throw coins with X to recruit

-Kingdom 2015

As you throw down coins to recruit NPCs prompts appear upon the other structure to prompt you to throw coins in order to get tools or weapons.


Finally it teaches you how to build walls and gallop. and with the parting words of

Build, Expand, Defend

-Kingdom 2015

That is the end to all instructions given in the game and players are left to their own devices.

Crossing the Threshold


As players explore and begin to expand their settlement, this signifies the crossing of the threshold. The player accepts the ambiguous mission and sets out doing it with what little knowledge he/she knows.

Tests, Allies & Enemies


As the first night approaches, the game seems to take on a eerie mood. Monsters start to appear from mysterious locations outside the walls. They begin to attack. But most likely the player manages to fend them off and hold out for the night.

This process repeats as the days plod on in the game and every night the monsters test the strength of the player’s defenses.


As the player builds his settlement into a kingdom cutting down trees to expand his territory, he/she will chance upon a stone archway, the first of many. As the player clears the forest to get to the archway it will reveal itself to be a portal. Suddenly monsters spew forth and the player is thrown into combat.


After coming out victorious, it is clear that the portals are the source of the monsters and it has now become the players mission to destroy all the portals to ensure the safety of his/her kingdom

The Ordeal

With the discovery of the portals the monsters redouble their effort to destroy the player every 5 days or so in the game there would be an event called the “Blood Moon” where the moon turns red and a host of monsters much larger than normal come forth to attack the player.

The Reward


After each night a chest of gold will appear in the player’s camp rewarding the player with money to expand his kingdom. This gold is also what the monsters are after and they will stop at nothing to get it. The player loses the game when his crown is stolen. This happens after the monsters have stolen all his gold.

The Road Back

As the player progresses in then game, he will have to leave the safety of his settlement in order to discover new recruits, buff giving statues and monster portals. This will cause the player to be outside of the Kingdom when it gets dark and the player will have to make a dash for the walls of his settlement. The player might even have to sacrifice some gold in order to do so.

The Resurrection

During your time in Kingdom you will face failure and die. Your settlement might get heavily damaged leaving you with very little resources to mount your next defense. The resurrection in this case is where the player replays the game and rebuilds his kingdom. This resilience is part of the core of what “Kingdom”(2015) is about.

Return with the Elixir

Towards the end of the game as players get stronger and portals get destroyed. The player will face his ultimate challenge facing the last portal the frequency of “Blood Moon” raids will increase and as the player activates the final portal monsters in larger amounts than ever before will emerge through the portal.

Upon destroying the final portal text will appearing saying:

The crown is safe.

-Kingdom 2015

And with that the credits will start to roll and you have completed the game.


“Kingdom” (2015) is an example of the Monomyth. Just that the events within it does not occur in sequence. This provides new insights on the Monomyth. For instance a fragmented narrative may also be classified within the Monomyth. It is all a matter of perspective.


2 Ideas for Narratives

My 2 Ideas are

  • Train Traveler Simulator
  • Random Day Generator


For the train simulator, the concept behind it is to tell a story of the everyday commuter traveling to and fro from his home to workplace or whatever his destination is. The goal is to simulate the problems faced by the commuter and how one would overcome it by taking different train routes or other options.

Problems faced may include

  1. faulty train lines
  2. certain stations being unavailable
  3. delayed trains

Game play:


The player would start his or her journey at a random station with a goal of getting to another random destination. At the start of the game there might be some lines or stations that are unavailable. Over the course of the journey more problems may occur and the player has to make decisions and alter his or her course of action.


Have you ever woken up one day with absolutely no idea what to do?

Then the Random Day Generator is just what you need!


Random Day Generator is basically a database of POV videos tagged and organised into categories such as

  1. Morning
  2. Breakfast
  3. Afternoon
  4. Lunch
  5. Night
  6. Dinner

The idea is to tell a story of a random day using videos that are cut to fit the categories and mixed and matched to sort of procedural generate a day.

This would be done in HTML and Javascript. To create a platform where other users can upload and categorize their own experiences.

Users would basically come to the website click on the options that the want for instance sports or road trip and such and have a random day based on that generated for them.


That was my 2 ideas more updates soon!


Thoughts on Eric Zimmerman’s Four Concepts

Eric Zimmerman’s Four Concepts have made me rethink a couple of things related to games.

Four Concepts- Eric Zimmerman

  • The role of games in relation to narratives and storytelling
  • Interactivity and it’s many forms

With regards to the role of games in relation to narratives, from what I gather from the essay every game has a story even a simple game of pong. So ultimately the question of whether a game has a story or not is completely irrelevant. What is relevant however is how the story is told in the AAA games of today we see a very cinematic way of storytelling, in the words of Zimmerman himself these games suffer from “Cinema envy”. It is evident that we are not utilizing games to it’s full potential in terms of narrative and storytelling. But in recent times simulation games have shown us a new path where the story is made in real time where there is no written script. The challenge comes in creating a compelling story where players want to see how this never ending story unfolds. That is not to say that the games of today are bad in their method of story telling. What I am trying to get at is that the games of today draw inspiration from existing mediums of storytelling and that in a way prevents games from reaching it’s full potential in creating a new method of storytelling.

How Eric Zimmerman explains Interactivity is extremely helpful in understanding the different modes of human interaction. For a game to be successful it has to fulfill all requirements.

  1. Cognitive interactivity – where the player finds new insights after experiencing certain content.
  2.  Functional interactivity – the platform in which the game is played, do the controls suit the game
  3. Explicit interactivity – How to choices of the player affect the game
  4. Meta-interactivity – How cultural participation plays a part in the game, does it spawn an entire fan base of people creating new content for the game, does it have online multiplayer where players can form communities. That sort of thing

All these play important roles in creating games.



What makes a work a narrative? What are the conditions for a narrative? Narratives according to Eric Zimmerman all have these in common an initial state, a change in state and an insight from that change. It is not simply a series of event but a personification of those events through a medium i.e. painting, language.

One can consider a painting a narrative in this case, looking at a painting you try to decipher the initial state of the subject matter and then draw insight by comparing what you perceive to be the initial state to the painting. But this is just my 2 cents on the subject.closest_view_of_book_page_rose