Based in M░░t░░░l, Canada
You've always wanted to be a chess master! But you aren't one! Are you! Now you can at least look like one! Pretend you're playing chess! Make moves! Act like you feel things! Smirk! Frown! Weep! Chess!
"It is as if you were playing chess" is part of a larger project I'm calling "It is as if you were playing a videogame". In both, the idea is to create games that aren't game in themselves, per se, but allow/force/encourage the player to act as if they're playing a game of some kind. The central image for me in this is that of a player sitting at their computer or using their mobile device while be observed by another person. To the observer it should look as though the player is genuinely playing some kind of game. In this case the idea is for them to look as though they are playing a game of chess, making the appropriate motions (to drag chess pieces around), facial expressions, eye movements, and so on. "It is as if you were playing chess" is thus an interface designed to support you in pretending that you're playing a game of chess. * * * Whether I will ever succeed in creating the more general "It is as if you were playing a videogame" is less certain. "It is as if you were playing chess" is valuable as it provides a simple way of testing out the idea of an interface as a kind of game or game-referring experience. Chess, the game, provides a well-known set of movements and emotional experiences that most players should be able to "play along with" and thus "get" what the interface is doing. Importantly, in the case of this game, there is actually an underlying game of chess you are playing through as you follow the instructions, although only the white side of the moves are actually stored in the game. I pursued this angle, rather than completely random moves, to avoid the dissonance that would be created by either impossible moves or incredibly unlikely moves, for those who play enough chess to think through what is happening, much more abstractly, on the screen.
- Being told what to do.
- Being told how to act.
- Being told where to look.
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