Theme: Play and Time
I started off this week by thinking about the way I have experienced “timelessness” when playing games. I wanted to examine that feeling of being so involved in a game that you are not aware of how much time has passed around you. Rather you feel no time has passed, or only invested in the way time passes within a game. For me, this was a very nostalgic memory, as I remembered spending hours playing the Sims and feeling like I needed to play more, even when it was my siblings turn to play next. In more recent memory, I thought of the way sound in games often has this effect, like the horse riding music in Breath of the Wild.
I found insight into this experience when reading Costello and Edmond’s work. Within their 13 frameworks for pleasure in play, this feeling of ‘timelessness’ is a part of the captivation framework. In my experiences, this captivation was in part enjoying the game driving my actions.
I also noticed that these features were also often combined with the pleasure of creation within character creation and customisation.
Initially, my plan was then to create a game which combined multiple features to magnify the captivation experience, but also poke fun at the way time is moving around the player. My initial idea was to create a character creation game, which involved a background world where days and nights pass and random animations occur. I wanted this to also have a kind of nostalgic effect, referencing the games like Sims and random dress up games I would spend hours on.
However, I haven’t made a game before so after attempting to code this, I learnt it was out of the scope of this week.
Hence, I made an object that is a kind of interactive tribute to this time spent. In a way it is about the time that was lost playing these games, but also that feeling of captivation is a part of having fun with play. I wanted to capture this with this three tiered moving piece.
I made this with paper, cardboard and toothpicks. All the tiers contain 4 drawings, which play out a little animation. Every tier can be rotated by hand, but the whole thing can also be spun.
I was a bit disappointed I wasn’t able to complete my original idea, however I still learnt a lot about coding in the process. I also think it’s important to try these new ideas, and begin the process of learning new tools to expand what I can make. I also had fun in the process, as I had made all the drawings (/assets) in Paint in a very loose, fun way. This made me reflect on the way forms of play are lost to time, like the loss of flash games, as the platforms they exist on come and go so quickly.
This idea kind of fed into the making of my second object. I think there’s a comedic aspect to the way it’s made: using paper to replicate one of the oldest forms of animation, to communicate what feels like an old technology I played with. I think it would be interesting to develop this further by bringing in old parts and making the object more interactive.