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Hawes Inn, South Queensferry, 16 October 2016.

Inchcolm Project, post-show discussion

“We chose where to go and stand and which way to make our way around the island. The choice was to go and make the most of the experience. And try to absorb yourself and try to interact with other people. Add to it you were constantly making your own choices about where to go on the island, how long to stay in a space, if you walked out of the space and lose the audio do you chose to go back into it or chose to move on and go somewhere else. But yeah, I think you were constantly making choices a lot of the time without even realising it.”

Participant Inchcolm Project

Post-Show Discussions

Hawes Inn, South Queensferry, 16 October 2016.

For Inchcolm Project the audience/players consisted of fifty invited guests, practitioners and academics from both video games and performance backgrounds. The audience responses to the experience were recorded immediately after the event through group-discussions prompted by six questions designed ahead of the event, which were handed to each group in a letter. The questions were designed to prompt discussion focused around the three overarching theoretical concepts which bridge the divide between video games and performance: immersion, narrative and interaction.

The responses helped me to identify the aspects that were effective, directions that could be developed and further investigated through the second project, particularly agency during gameplay (projection), a longer time for exploration, and a sense of emotional progression developed in parallel with the physical progression through the space. The responses also suggested areas and fields which could benefit from the research, in particular heritage or historical sites and environments, natural landmarks or parks, family attractions so on.

The main themes which were discussed could be grouped into six categories: sensory/environment, narrative/story, interaction/agency, dramaturgy of assemblage, and suggestions. The sensory/environment theme grouped verbs relating to any of the senses: looking, listening, hearing, touching, smelling, feeling, nouns relating to any of the senses: environment, landmark, island, sound, music, wind, waves, weather, site, space and adjectives relating to the experience: physical, atmospheric, immersive, visceral, personal. In terms of the narrative I followed recurring references to the narrative, text, story, character, actor, voice, theme, mood. The theme of interaction/agency is shaped by discussion topics relating to walking/stopping, rhythm, duration/time, exploration, discovery, direction, solitary/isolating, map, playing, gaming, and choice. The dramaturgy of assemblage/palimpsest refers to the process of (syn)aesthetic meaning-making (meaning, sense, understanding, interpreting, feeling, semiotic, symbol) and the connection between all the experiential layers, how they shed light on each other (fragments, connection, and any references to two or more of the above themes and components). And finally, because it was presented as a work-in-progress the audience/players were invited to suggest ways of improving the experience and future directions for the work. In the thesis I discuss each of these themes in relation to the audience/players’ observations and draw some conclusions about the general reception of the work, the opportunities and challenges as identified by the audience/players. It is also worth noting here that although I discussed each of the themes individually, in practice they overlap and merge in the immediacy and unifying nature of embodied experience.

Above you can scroll through a wide selection of quotes extracted from these discussions.

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