Field – The City – Research – PlayArkPosted: March 4, 2014
Another suggestion for research by Ingrid was PlayArk 2013, a series of games and talks created by artists in Cardiff. This sounds like a great event, and it’s disappointing I didn’t know it was on at the time as it definitely sounds like something I would have liked to be involved in.
Looking at the website, it seems like there were lots of different games which all sound extremely interesting and engaging, but there is barely any actual information on the games themselves other than their name and brief description. This is not particularly useful in terms on research for my project, because I can’t write about it in much depth or use it to inform my own work if I don’t know what actually happened or how it happened. For example “Extreme Musical Chairs”, “It does exactly what it says in the title. This is musical chairs but Extreme. Split into three stages, each stage introducing another dastardly twist to the classic party game”. While I can tell that they have taken a classic and well known game and somehow made it more interesting and appealing, I don’t know what they have done to achieve that. All the games have the name of the game designer below them, however even googling their names and the name of the game comes up with very little, it seems like the event wasn’t very well documented.
The most documentation that I could find on the games was the photos uploaded to their facebook page, although these don’t always say what game they are playing or what they are doing, so it’s a matter of trying to piece together two very limited sources of information. I had hoped to find some videos explaining the concept of each game with people playing it, or perhaps a blog post of one of the artists involved, however I had no such luck.
“ISAY! An ancient and honourable game of sneaking up and insulting the other fellow in the most devastating ways possible by the deep rivalries harboured between gentleman’s clubs. For chaps who enjoy nothing more than a jolly good chase.”
Then there are games which don’t have any description on the website, or even a name
What I have taken from looking into PlayArk, is that their games are very much group orientated, often requiring large groups of people. I don’t think I’m likely to be able to get large groups of people to interact with my work at one time unless it happens to pick up a lot of interest, but I can’t rely on that happening. There are many people who went to visit the PlayArk event knowing that it was happening and wanting to participate, and while there might have been passerbys who got involved that is most likely because there was already a large group of people there, and signs telling people that it was going on. I don’t want my piece of work to have to be sign posted or to need to be telling people to go and interact with it, I want people to come across it unintentionally and to interact with it at their own leisure. They will then ideally be able to use that to interact with other people in some way, hopefully in the form of a game, but I don’t think it should be necessary to the piece.