A Hop and a Skip

Game instructions on the tree!
The sun marks the beginning of the game. (a happy beginning)
A view of the game play space.
Just getting started – tutorial level.
Action shot of the group leaving the tutorial level behind.
There is no turning back.

The inspiration for this particular corporative outdoor game was a circle of stones surrounding a large tree. A group of three or more players congregate at the beginning of the circle marked by a yellow sun. The Players each pick a color and stand on the stone closest to the sun marked with their color. The players join hands and thus the frolicking may begin. The players must traverse the circle while both maintaining a constant connection to the group and only stepping on stones that are marked with their particular color. The only exception to this rule is that players may step on each others feet to reach a stone of their color. The game starts at a tutorial level and gets progressively more difficult as you go around the circle.

Game Fest Review

Turtle Wushu:

(Rules!) I found Turtle Wushu to be quite enjoyable because the interaction was short and there was an ever present possibility of chaos. It wasn’t wise to play it in the dark because you had to search for your turtle in the dark. It was like a way too severe punishment for loosing. I lost every turtle ):  It’s also nice to learn because the game is simple enough that it would be easy to instigate this game under many circumstances.

The You Win Card Game:

I liked this game because it was ambient and ever lasting. You take a card that has a win condition on it. For example: You see someone wipe their nose, You get someone to take a picture of you, you win a thumb war. If you are found out trying to win… you loose, so you have to be sneaky. If you succeed in covertly accomplishing your goal. You get to fire off a party popper! This was quite effective in instigating random interactions with strangers, which was a pleasant if a bit awkward.


The Pong Controlled Actor

For this project I was interested in using the game of pong to turn any player into a performer in a narrative. Using face tracking the player can control the paddle in a simple game of pong with the degree to which their eyebrows are raised, their mouth is open or both depending on the mode. The player knows the mode by an icon at the top of the screen.

The game is intended to be played in silence as others watch you play and listen to the audio of a narrative that you cannot hear. I also intend the game to be played in darkness with the only light coming from the brightly lit screen of a computer in front of the player.

This game presents the director/game designer with a limited but compelling set of narrative tools:

  •  A voice over or sound track
  •  the rough expression on the player’s face at predetermined times
  • the color of the light reflected on their faces

I took these tools and made a short narrative of a mime preparing to attend yet another party. The following is my script:


[warmish reflected light]

THE PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: on screen it says “Press enter to begin”  and then “put on the provided blue lipstick to aid in tracking, wait for calibration to finish, and press enter when complete.”

THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE:  voice over begins as the lipstick is being applied. “I was just getting ready for the ball, like any Saturday night. Us mines always get invited last minute, but we know to get ready regardless.”


THE PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: the player must open mouth widely to catch a slow moving ball at the top of the screen.

THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE: “ I certainly was tired and didn’t want to got out but what can be done when something is one’s job.” (as the “mime” opens the mouth widely in a yawn like gesture.)


THE PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: raise eyebrows to catch the ball.

THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE:“ I know how to look alert. When you can’t speak you have to look like you are full of energy”


[bright white light]

THE PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: Raise eyebrows slowly to catch the next ball.

THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE:“ I only felt truly awake as I entered through the back way of the giant house into the brightly lit kitchen.”


[Flashy lights]

THE PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: Challenge mode where all modes are interchanged quickly as the screen flashes.

THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE:“When I entered the cocktail party I immediately began my usual routine.”  (fast and crazy faces with music)


[cool blue light]

THE PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: the screen gets blue  an you have to scrunch up your face and then keep it neutral to catch the next ball. You are in dual eyebrow and mouth mode. then open your mouth slightly to catch last ball.

THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE:“after an hour or so I slipped into the large study for my fifteen minute break. I felt strangely detached. I let out a little sound to remind myself I could speak.”


[Bright White Light]

THE PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: Raise eye brow and mouth midway.

THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE:“then suddenly I realized that I wasn’t alone.”


This is a bit ambitious to program in the allotted amount of time, but I’ve got some of it working.

Caroline Record

Here is a link to my website: www.carolinerecord.com

“With the growing significance of immaterial labor, and the concomitant increase in cultivation and exploitation of play—creativity, innovation, the new, the singular, flexibility, the supplement—as a productive force, play will become more and more linked to broad social structures of control. Today we are no doubt witnessing the end of play as politically progressive, or even politically neutral.”

― Alexander R. GallowayGaming: Essays On Algorithmic Culture