OK computer

OK Computer

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40 hours) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation.

 

Contributor:
Maker

Project Manager:
Mathieu Marion

 

Objectives:
Since the 1990s, playing video games has become widespread. Like any mainstream trend, it also has its more experimental fringes. This is the fun, artistic movement that the students will be rubbing shoulders with for the duration of the project, which intends to be an exhilarating version of the “human-machine” relationship. Using “Makey Makey” electronic cards and “Scratch” programming software, the class will explore new ways to interact with gaming by creating new interfaces, finding new ways of using one’s body to control the machine, etc.

The project is divided into two phases.

Workshop:
Remote control?
During this phase, the students test several tools proposed by the contributors. This does not involve complex programming but instead, diversion in every direction using the Makey Makey, taking control of a PC using any material that conducts electricity. Anything can become a keyboard that can control a computer’s tasks: Plasticine, a compass, a classmate, fruit and vegetables as well as metals and liquids. The students examine video games through experimenting, learning how to offer a new gaming experience using simple tools. By combining the exploration of Makey Makey with the use of the Scratch software, the students learn about basic algorithms and how to use code as a means of expression to translate their imagination and experiments.

Ok computer
For this phase of the project, the students set to work developing their own interface. The contributor accompanies the group in its reflections to design freer creations, encouraging more personal themes and far more experimental processing. Three main avenues of investigation run through the class’ commission: how do you play? What’s the story? Where do you play? Subverting the rules by creating new controls and new rules, making a single-player game a multiplayer one, using space… The students are confronted with the mechanics of video games, their codes, their technologies and their imaginary worlds. Creating real sensations for the player, whether visual, audio or physical, is the key to this exercise.  

 

Participating School:
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Rosny-sous-bois

 

Photos: DAMIEN DELDICQUE, JÉRÔME AUBRY & ALEXANDRE SCHUBNEL, LABORATOIRE DE GÉOLOGIE DE L’ENS PARIS. 

OK computer
OK computer