Current Events, Art, and Games (2 of 2)


In my last blog post, I mentioned the idea of art and games being used to show the effects of war.  While I believe the concept I provided in my last post could have worked, I’m going to change how the game is presented and instead of it being a full game playable on a computer or console, it would be part of an exhibit at an art gallery.  Because of the changes in the medium, this means there are new points to consider for re-design in order to evoke the same effect or use the same mechanics.

To list a few:

  • There is a much shorter ‘play’ time
  • There are limitations as to how many people can experience this at once
  • Different audience
  • Less ways of interaction, but more ways to experience the art/game
  • Limited availability: i.e. the art exhibit won’t last forever


My idea (see my post titled Current Events, Art, and Games (1 of 2) for an explanation on my original ideas and goals) can still be applied to instill some of the costs war through an emotional connection.  As an interactive exhibit, I feel the best method you could use to account for these changes would be to create a large, dark room with physical buildings that have images projected onto them.  This allows you to create what would feel like a city that could be changed to show how the city becomes destroyed because of the battles that would occur in a war over time.  In a game, this is easily accomplished since games tend to take multiple hours to play through, but an art exhibit only lasts a few minutes.

An example of projecting images to change the appearance of a building

There also wouldn’t be a game controller as there would be for a console or PC game, so in order to make the exhibit interactive, a person entering the room (or one from a small group of people) would be given a camera to take pictures of the exhibit.  The ‘player’ could take actual pictures of the exhibit, but when they do so, it would gradually show the change of the city after various battles accompanied by sound effects to emphasize different aspects of the changes.  As the person/group proceeds, they will encounter more and more destroyed aspects of the city and each picture will reveal more and more damage being done until there is little left except rubble.

This can answer how the game is still interactive without a typical controller.  There are additional traits you could give the camera, such as showing different images than what was taken or making the camera act as a sort of targeting system for a missile that destroys the city, but the goal is to use it as a tool to bring people more personally into the experience.  This also means that multiple people with cameras at once could cause more problems and may limit the show many people can enter the exhibit at once, which also limits the total amount of people able to go through this experience.

But this is just one part of a single idea about how games can be used as a more traditional art installation.  I hope that anyone reading this has can come up with a few ideas for themselves, but the other members of my group should have their own portions to contribute and can be found linked below.


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