Group members: Niki, Teri, Si Hui, May Thu
The process for this final project was full of bumps. My group hit multiple road blocks and we had many set backs. Since this project was set to be site specific, we decided to pick out a location first, then work from there. But the problem with this method was that we got too caught up with the site itself and lost the objective and narrative of the game.
In our first official test run we had an entirely different idea with a futuristic dystopian narrative of runaway AI robots. It was essentially an advance version of the game of Catch; a mission-completing, Amazing Race type game. The guards that were chasing the AIs will be tracking them with the joint-instagram account as surveillance. While the AIs had to upload their location and complete tasks that would eventually lead them to Paradise.
My role in the game was to facilitate the AI, feeding him clues to the next location and reminding him to update his location. To put it simply it was very hectic. I was juggling four group chats at once plus there was problems with the internet connection at Bugis street which was probably interrupted by the heavy rain.
It seems we did not solidify our ideas properly or my explanation was just poor. The player did not understand the gist of the game and I had to clear things up on the chat which took away from the narrative.
Because we wanted to conduct interactions between strangers, the player was alone and was not enjoying the game at all. After the interview with the players, we found that the instagram feed was useless to the Guard and we did not have an end- goal which was the reason why my player was so confused.
We concluded that our set up was too ambitious because to fulfill all the requirements of DIWO, glitch and third space together with this narrative and site we needed more manpower, equipment and time. So whilst simplifying the game, we ended up with the end product SONDER.
We wanted to keep and focus on our original concept of interaction between strangers and I think the Symposium played a significant role in our final ideation as Matt Adams – the co-founder of Blast Theory was invited to speak. He made some really good points about his work, mainly My Neck of the Woods, Uncle Roy All Around You and also Kidnap. All three had the element of blurring the lines between reality and fiction that was our group wanted to incorporated into SONDER.
This hovering between real and fake was achieved in SONDER where the first run was a more serious conversation mixed in with some lies as compared to the second run where the exchange was completely pretend. The objective of the game (drawing a portrait of the other person) was strengthen with a question “Do you want to meet the person you are talking to?” at the end of the train ride. If the questions prompted by the Breadbot were at a more personal level, I think the outcome of the portraits would become more meaningful as we could really see the first impression to someone’s personality.
I realised after participating in SONDER, when interacting with someone their appearance and mannerism influence our impression significantly. To really get to know a person in real life we have to first overcome their looks. If not for SONDER, Si Hui would not have talked and met Yi Lin because he avoids contact. I would never have talked to Cheng because he is such an extrovert.
Anonymity in the third space is unique to it own; a voice without sound coaxes one to become more expressive than they really are; even if it was pretend. During the presentation the question “Would you have become friends?” and my answer was no because I do not speak as fluently as in the chat, you cannot pause and delete your words in real life. I also do not have the courage to make stupid jokes that I shamelessly made in the chat so having exposed myself in the chat I would not want to become friends as I have been thoroughly embarrassed.
The third space chat allows for anonymity; voice without sound which coaxes people to become more expressive than they really are; even if it was pretend. During the presentation the question “Would you have become friends?” and my answer was no because I do not speak as fluently as in the chat, you cannot pause and delete your words in real life. I also do not have the courage to make stupid jokes that I shamelessly made in the chat so having exposed myself in the chat I would not want to become friends as I have been thoroughly embarrassed.