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Amen and the Golden Silence

January 20, 2009

Blog traffic today is about half of what it normally is. My iPhone, which usually sounds every few minutes to let me know it has received a message in one of my accounts, is mostly silent. Right after the inauguration, I ran to the bank, and the streets were all but emptied. The world fell silent, turned on their televisions or went to the ‘net and watched.

This morning, I challenged my students to consider how they might capture this feeling in a game design. Photographers, film makers, painters and artists of every medium will find some way to memorialize this moment. How would a game designer were she tasked to capture it? Not the Presidential race, mind you, but the moment when a sea of flags raised, tears streamed down faces, and people yelled “Obama” until they were hoarse.

I am reminded of Raph Koster’s comment at a recent conference we attended – “Can a game simulate the taste of a peach?” Could we, as artists, simulate the intensity of this moment?

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 23, 2009 1:34 pm

    Definitely doable. Although I don’t know that it could be done “by design.” These kinds of experiences tend to be unplanned and happen “in the moment.” I’ve experienced similar emotional states in MMO’s where there have been memorials to players who have recently died. The most memorable for me was one that took place in DAoC, where the three warring factions put aside the antagonistic game-play mechanic to peacefully meet on the battlefield in honor of a deceased player. It was a very moving experience.

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