The Desecration

INSTRUCTIONS: Find “The Desecration” on 7Scenes. Start with the blue pin and save the green pin for last. If you wish to do the story during the weekend or between the 21st of December and the 3rd of January, use the attached PDF to create your tokens or come to me directly. tokens

 

This story was something I thoroughly enjoyed making. I took a lot of liberty in the things I make the players do in the story. I wanted to focus on the interaction between the story and the real world. Because of this, almost all of the pins have some physical interaction with the space. I thought that this was the best way to exploit the affordance of real world interaction. Unfortunately, I don’t think I did a very good job of appealing to the aesthetic of the world. Most of the pins are in areas for their practical usage in the story rather than their scenery.

In terms of constraints, I found that making these interactions with the real world might fall flat. This is especially apparent in the interactions with props. The tokens used for a large amount of the story are harder to distribute than I thought they would be. This is mostly due to the poor timing of the TAWES office shutting down for the holidays. Luckily, I was able to find ways around this problem. At the same time, these methods take away from the story and the situation is still fairly unfortunate. The second prop that I am concerned about is the maze book. I was unable to find a place for it directly next to the maze and had to settle for somewhere somewhat close by. The other problem is that this area where I put the maze book is also used to house another book. While this may not be a problem, it still presents some conflict that I hope will not result in disaster.

Another constraint was my ability to coherently make a point with the narrative. Often times, the areas are more about the actions done rather than their implications. In one way, this kind of amplifies my point (that being people get caught up in their own trivial pursuits to realize the full meaning or opportunity in what they are doing). It was also very difficult to lay out any complex back story to the world. On the one hand, this is due to the desire to convey through the locative medium rather than plain text. In a way it makes me unwilling to make a wall of text in the beginning for people to start out with. However, this constraint also allowed me to keep the reader ignorant of most things, which, as a new member to a society, is somewhat realistic.

I regret a few things about this project. I wish I would have been able to think of a way to flesh out the power structure of the Desecrated and get my political point across more concisely without coming out and saying it in plain text. I also wish that I would have thought of more creative powers for people to gain along the way. Despite all this, I enjoy what I made and I hope those who play it have a fun time embarrassing themselves across campus.

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4 thoughts on “The Desecration

  1. This mobile locative was very effective at utilizing the location affordance of the medium, 7Scenes. In the creation of specific places for the users/readers to visit in order to progress the story, I feel there was a lot of thought required to ensure that the locations were interactive and fitting for the task. When I went out to experience this narrative, there were few people out and therefore the token mechanism within the narrative was lost; however I can see how the chosen locations would foster interaction with other people around campus.
    The most impactful component of this narrative is the “training” in which you would go to a location and perform a task. This involvement of the user in context of the story with real life, made the experience more meaningful and interesting. The coolest idea had to be “walking on water” on Mckeldin where you can stand on the ledges of each segment of the fountain. These training segments were the compelling force to keep walking to the different locations on campus. As mentioned in your reflection, it is difficult to create a complex back story, and therefore the perceived effort to read these texts would be too large and cause me to just click on the locations from my dorm. However, I found the connection between the narrative and the real world to be interesting enough to continue going to each site to see how you simulated the newly obtained powers in real life.
    The only point of real criticism I had concerning this project was the underlying story. I think maybe having more character development specifically more background on how the user came to be in the position he/she is could create a more compelling narrative and better handle the chosen topic/theme. Overall, however, I fell this project was a great success in utilizing the affordances and working around the constraints of 7Scenes.

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  2. I played through your game recently, and my favorite part was the way you did an excellent job incorporating locations into your “training” modules. The idea of creating activities that approximated our developing “powers” introduced a game-like aspect that made it really engaging. I had a lot of fun pretending to walk on water at McKeldin (it was my favorite activity), and the maze was another cool experience, since I hadn’t really time there before and it was a nice area to explore. I thought the idea of drawing mazes in the notebook you left was a great use of physical objects to enhance your story, and it added another dimension to the narrative. Drawing a functional maze was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but it was also quite enjoyable, so the non-trivial effort involved didn’t seem like an imposition. I also think that the physicality of the notebook really added to the experience, and the collection of mazes inside will make the notebook a fascinating element of the narrative. However, I wasn’t as enthusiastic the initiation sites. Creating an aspect of the narrative that involved interacting with the people around you was a good idea, but it felt really awkward to just hand out pieces of paper. I definitely felt less motivated to complete these than the training activities. But, I think that the idea itself is valuable in that it incorporated a lot of the aspects of locative narratives that we talking about in class (making it interactive, utilizing both physical and digital elements to tell a story, collaboration with others, etc.). Maybe adjusting the ratio of initiation sites to training sites, incorporating a mechanism for rewards based on the number of tokens distributed, or adding more of the story into these initiation sites could increase player investment in this aspect of the narrative? I was intrigued by the premise of your story and I definitely would have enjoyed reading even more about the Desecrated! And, overall, you created an interesting story that took advantage of the affordances of 7scenes in a creative manner, and I had a good time exploring it.

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  3. Hey Jack!

    I really enjoyed playing through your story! It was very cool to imagine the campus as a training ground for superheroes. I liked that you incorporated main landmarks of campus like the chapel maze, foun into the narrative. I had actually never been to the maze at the Chapel before or seen the bench with the book in it. Playing through your story was a great way to experience it. It was clever to not only use the affordances of the geographic locations for your stops but also use the objects and things present there.

    I also liked the “walking on water” picture task. When I did this task, the top layer of the water of the fountain was frozen so when I stepped on it, I initially almost expected it to be solid and hold my weight to allow me to actually walk on water. The ice did crack so I just went to the top of the fountain and stood on the edge to “walk on water”. I have to say that I may have embarrassed myself a little there but it was all in the name of the Desecrated!

    If you were to tweak the story a bit more, I would consider putting a time limit for the induction tasks, I wasn’t sure how much time I was supposed to spending desecrating other people. Overall though, great job! I really enjoyed experiencing campus in a new light like this.

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  4. To start off, good job Jack! I admire your bravery and dedication in choosing to work with locative media through 7Scenes. These stories require “really non-trivial effort” to navigate, but they require even more non-trivial effort on your part in order to tie narrative together with physical space.

    Both Alex’s and April’s comments are insightful responses to your work that resonate with my own experiences. I don’t want to parrot them, so here are a few other thoughts.

    While I very much enjoyed walking on water (see mine and Tiffany’s photo submissions), I would actually have to choose the chapel maze if I had to pick a favorite. I know you mentioned that you were worried about not being able to effectively convey the aesthetics of your storyworld, but I think that this location was a major exception. The stillness of the maze and the garden was the perfect backdrop for an engaging test of my growing mental powers. I loved being able to look back on previous maze entries – the way you were able to incorporate user-created content was one of my favorite parts of the experience.

    The other major element of Desecration that I wanted to make sure to acknowledge is your end-scene on the roof of the Mowatt Garage. To me, this piece of your story demonstrated your awareness of the constraints of developing a vibrant storyworld in relatively mundane surroundings. The effectiveness of this visualization – being instructed to look around the roof of the garage and imagine bleachers reaching around the perimeter of a marble-floored stadium – was both an impressive use of the medium and a fitting cinematic ending to the story.

    Ultimately, Desecration challenged my perceptions of what 7Scenes can be used to create. I second April’s thoughtful remarks about the challenges of the initiation sites, and I think this would be an interesting part of your story to build upon. As a whole, however, great work on this project – I’m sincerely impressed.

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