CDB Barkley (aka Alan Levine) : Jan 21, 2008 03:27pm
Thanks to an invite from Fleep Tuque, I and seven other educators got a tour and rich experience with PARSEC– an installation? an immersive game? an interactive art piece? it is all very hard to define in words. PARSEC is a project created by Dizzy Banjo, Eshi Otawara and Chase Marellan… we thank Eshi greatly for allowing us to interrupt her to give us a tour.
On entering PARSEC (a giant seeming infiinite white dome), each of seven avatars dons a collection of gestures, each set is different. Apparently our use of voice chat generates musical tones and animates certain objects.
Certain balls begin to float in the air in response to our individual forces, and there is a mysterious combination of events that trigger a rather intense result:
Somehow, our group managed to trigger the sequence in a few minutes, but we could not figure exactly what actions made this happen.
And this is the “game”. We tried all kinds of approaches, scientific, process of elimination, total guessing, and in what passed as a fast hour, we felt we got close, but never nailed the sequence (even with googling parsec for clues).
We were told groups have spent hours in this space.
Its engaging because it is a mystery; the outcomes are not tied simply to action, and it depends on a group process. The use of voice chat as a stimulus to generating audio is a nice nod to the work of Robbie Dingo’s whisper box, but this is all together different.
It is an amazing concept… and I still feel that gnawing frustration of not being able to figure out the solution!