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Physical

Games, Physical, Site-specific

One Easy Step installation

Click through gallery above for pictures

As part of King’s College London’s Arts and Humanities Festival, we’ve created One Easy Step, an installation running in the Quad from 10-21 October.

We’ve created a series of patterns on the ground designed to invite playful interactions, following a period of playtesting and observation over the summer. And within these patterns, we’ve placed five mirrored plinths, each one gently glowing and with a purpose-designed game that passers-by are invited to play. Perhaps they’ll need to solve a maze; perhaps they’ll be invited to ask a question about the future, or race to spot particular objects in the world around them.

Alongside the installation, we’re currently working on a report into public play based on interviews and our observations, which will be published later in October.

Events, Games, Physical, Research

The Scientific Village Fete at New Scientist Live

click through gallery above

From 22 to 25 September, we ran the Scientific Village Fete at New Scientist Live, a four-day festival of ideas and discovery.

Our corner of the festival invited passers-by to play traditional village-fete-style games – but with an astronomical twist.

In the Planet Shy, people threw balls coconut-shy style – but their aim was to knock down a scale model of the Solar System.

In The Two-Body Problem, a classic demonstration of how gravity works became a head-to-head challenge, as groups of players rolled marbles planets into orbit.

In Space on Earth, a co-operative game created by Saffron Parker, players put their hands into simulated spacesuit gloves and had to try to screw on nuts and bolts and tie ropes together.

And in game-show-style So Wrong It’s Right, performers drew the crowds before challenging players to go head-to-head against the quirks of their own brain, with a challenge that used the Stroop Effect to turn something quite simple (say seven random words) into a real challenge.

The games drew thousands of players over four days – including real live astronaut Al Worden, shown playing here with Sumit Paul-Choudhury, the festival director (and editor-in-chief of New Scientist).

One Easy Step: installation and talk

Events, Physical, Research

Over the past couple of months, for our project One Easy Step, we’ve been doing a lot of research into public play – interviews, observation, reading, experiments. You can see a lot of the interviews we’ve conducted here on the website – and we’ve got a few more coming up soon.

This has all been part of the King’s College London Arts and Humanities Festival, which this year is themed around play – and there are some amazing events going on, talks and workshops and installations and chances to play.

One Easy Step will culminate with an installation running from 10-21 October, and we’ll be delivering a talk on 11 October to share the research we’ve been doing over the last couple of months – so if you’re interested in the research we’ve been doing, do come along! Tickets for the talk are free, but registration is required.