Tuesday 3 April 2018

The Book Ritual

So this is one of the things I’ve been working on recently! The Book Ritual is a story told using a physical book, in the real world. The player is given writing and drawing tasks that get them to interact with the book in different ways. They write in it, draw maps, and tell it about their thoughts and feelings.

The player also needs to tear out pages, and shred them, to progress.

It’s very much more of an interactive art piece than a game in the traditional sense, and talks about ideas of accepting loss and change.

Having worked with physical games and props for so long I’ve felt that the emotional weight we apply to physical objects is ripe for exploration. People don’t want to shred books. Why is that?

I’ll admit that showing this work for the first time is scary, so I’m focusing on small trials with small groups of people, before releasing anything into a more public space. When a game is about emotional subject matter, it exposes a side of the creator that games made primarily to entertain don’t. So even as I’ve spent many years extolling the virtues of showing your work in public regardless of its state, I must admit to this being a slightly terrifying prospect!

In spite of the trepidation I’m looking forward to seeing where this project takes me. Even if this particular version of the idea is only a step along the way, I’m keen to see how the lessons I’ve learned from doing installation games and interactive performance can be used to explore more emotional subject matter.

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