Category: Projects

Cabinet Construction Conclusion

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.

Cabinet Construction

The construction of the game cabinet that will house our very own, theory-inspired arcade game is well under way.  Our ideas for the cabinet itself were mostly inspired by Anna Munster’s discussion of the fold in her book Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aestheitcs. We have essentially re-folded our cabinet so that the distinction between its “inside” and “outside” becomes blurred. Users will poke their heads inside the cabinet in order to use it, while those outside the cabinet will be able to see its innards. In order to (aesthetically) make the cabinet look as though it were inside-out, we have found ourselves hard at work:

Left: Dylan painting the “outside” of our cabinet.

Right: Tyler working on the control panel.

In addition to getting our hands dirty, we have also been working endlessly on the game itself, and we are excited to see our original video mock-up turning into a usable game, which would not have been possible without the help of the ever-insightful flash developer Tom Dysinski. Thank you Tom! =)

…watch for more pictures of our progress…

Final Project Update: Iteration First

I thought that we should post another update in regards to our final project, which is now due April 7th. Below is a video of what we consider to be our first iteration, a model for how our final project is going to look on-screen and sound. As you can see, our game is going to be a trivia game of sorts, with information flashing obnoxiously around the screen.

If you find the questions (and the video as a whole) difficult to follow, not to worry. On one hand, our project is supposed to make you feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, this model is clearly unfinished—the game aspect is unplayable, even if we had the flash controls hooked up and working. There is not enough time given for a player to absorb enough information to answer even one question. Therefore, expect a significant changes in the timing and architecture of our project.

For now, the video below will give you a general idea of what the video portion of our project is going to look like. However, the look of the arcade cabinet in which this video is going to play shall remain a mystery…

– Dyldebeest