SIMASTICUS

"The example of new "social granularity" is provided by the popular computer game the sims. This game that is better referred to as "social simulator" models ongoing relationship dynamics between a number of characters."
- Lev Manovich, "Metadating the Image"

Simasticus applies Sims game-play to the real world where actual people and the public play the role of Sims characters and the game player retains control in provoking interactions. We utilize Sims game iconography and parts of the user interface to present a set of tools that a game player uses in achieving the goals of getting strangers to interact in a positive way. This project has been successful in getting strangers to interact (and dance together) on the street using text messages and thought bubbles projected into public areas from elevated locations in nearby buildings.

We built a custom interface that controls interactive devices and iconography that is projected down to the street and the public below. Game players can use the interface to communicate to pedestrians textually, visually, or through animated devices such as soccer balls and menu systems that would normally be used to get characters in the Sims game to interact with one another.

 

The original Sims game interface. Site study and cross section.

 

Gameplay with custom Sims interface and resulting projections. Sample game interaction.

 

Sample game interaction.