An exploration of gaming
in the everyday

2004 - ongoing


- + Introduction +

- Related Resources -


- Embedding games -

- Neighbourhood Games -


- My Work -

- Backseat Playground -

- Urban Tapestries -


Neighbourhood Games is funded by Proboscis as part of the Social Tapestries research programme http://socialtapestries.net


What if you could play a videogame that was 'within' the real world - if the objects surrounding you had hidden meanings, stories and relationships that went beyond their own history and purpose, beyond their everyday existence. What if you could play with everything, leave in-game objects wherever you wanted, enter game spaces through 'real' doorways, search your surroundings for the traces of someone else's gaming adventures.

...you have been driving the same way for the past 4 days so you know all about the mean old guy at the petrol station who won't talk to you. Come to think of it, every gas station attendant seems to be hiding something - what if they are all in league with each other... what are they trying to hide? How do you get any of them to talk? Do they know anything about how Mrs Lundberg disappeared? You know that someone was seen near the railway bridge. What if you searched the bottom of the riverbed beneath the bridge, using the aqualung you picked up from the last village... Not today, as the car turns before the bridge, you're going a different way into town. You see a phone box coming up on the right... the phone rings!!! ... pointing your device at the phone, you answer it. A woman's voice tells you quietly and deliberately that the person sitting in the back seat of the car in front is the detective searching for you... time to put on the sunglasses you found last week at the bus stop and what about changing into in the clothes that are sitting in a pile on the floor of the phone box...

Through collaborations with the Interactive Institute in Stockholm and Proboscis in London, I am working with others to explore ways in which this can be realised. I have spent over a decade working with video games as an artist, writer and games designer, have researched location based technologies as one of the core team of Urban Tapestries and am now collaborating with the Mobility Studio in Stockholm on the exciting Backseat Playground mobile gaming project. The ideas are becoming a reality...your neighbourhood could never be the same again.


copyright © 2004 John Paul Bichard. All rights reserved.
copyright © 2005 John Paul Bichard. All rights reserved.
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