two hundred seventy three

two hundred seventy three

Individual Project
January 2016
(download)

 

Two Hundred Seventy Three is an interactive fiction where players take the role of an unaware audience member during a performance of John Cage's 4' 33". My goal in designing it was to push the lower limit of stimuli for player interactions.

For a majority of the two hundred seventy three seconds that this game lasts, nothing new is presented to the player. When information is presented to the player, it is done to encourage the player to sit still, take in their environment, and note that, in this moment, their choice to abstain from interacting with the game a way of interacting with the game as well.

I have loved the concept of 4'33" for a very long time now, and finding a way to make it into a game is one of the first ideas I had that was related to game design. I became fascinated by a game system just sitting there passively, doing nothing at all until the player makes a move. One way this is represented in the game is by text streaming out on a timer until the player rudely interrupts the show. Unfortunately, this didn't work as well as I had hoped. Players became quite confused about their role in the game, and tended to tune the game out. I hope to revisit this concept very soon.