The last few days in the run-up to the “Cabs of Curiosity” event were filled with  a lot of activity as we put the finishing touches on our inside-out cabinet and got the game up and running, and we a have a few photos that show our cabinet as it reaches the end of its construction:

These two photos show the empty shell of our cabinet, just waiting for the controls and hardware to be attached to complete the process.

Besides some aesthetic changes, such as painting the inside and reversing the sign (which  a lot of the visitors thought was a “nice touch”), we had to change the structure of the cabinet, such as leaving out the plexiglass and cutting new holes for the wires and controls.

Dylan and Thea work on the wiring of the control panel:

We managed to get the whole thing up and running that night, but the computer we were using didn’t really run the game all that well, necessitating a change to the laptop for the night of. Still, it worked!

The big night

Here you can see the “outside” of the cabinet and the intro screen for our game, Cybridity:

The simplicity of the controls belies how difficult playing our game could get. The game itself is inspired by Bernard Stiegler’s theories, particularly the effects of media on how we pay attention that he explores in Taking Care: On Youths and Generations. Although we simplified it to one question at a time, the overall look of the game remains largely unchanged from this video.

Here’s our cabinet from the opposite side:

The cabinet’s setup provides an excellent opportunity to see what an arcade cabinet is made of, although we did have to make a few changes from the “traditional” arcade cabinet; I doubt the ones from the ‘80s were powered by macbooks.

Here you can see someone playing our game:

The way the cabinet is constructed wound up having the effect of inverting the usual practice of playing an arcade game. Instead of a public performance with lots of spectators, playing the game becomes an isolating experience, which is reinforced by the bombardment of media in the game itself forcing players to ignore their surroundings and focus entirely on the game.

And here you can see our cabinet on display with several others:

The creativity of the graduate and undergraduate classes really ensured that each piece was unique and that the evening offered a wide variety of ways to experience and interact with all of the different exhibits. You can check out the links in our “Friends of Cybridity” sidebar section to read some of the other groups’ experiences.