Putin vs Obama – Highjacking a social media for playful activity

posted in: IT University, Play Design | 0

Social media comes in many shapes and sizes, but most importantly they are ubiquitous and pervasive. During all the projects made during the course play design, one aspect of play resurface again and again and that is play’s ability to appropriate almost any given context and shape peoples actions and perceptions of said context. With this in mind, the last project was to hijack a social media in order to make people play.

The project
This project uses the app Periscope to make short live action theater of the oppressed type of videos where we acted out what the users said. The theme for these short videos was global politics and took inspiration from everything that was going on in the world at that time. Thus the live action theater of the oppressed type project of Putin vs Obama was born, where these characters was thrown into crazy situations where the participating users of Periscope could dictate what Putin and Obama should do to each other – within certain limits. In each video these characters was given various props that could be used in order to generate playful situations. These interactive videos were finally put onto Facebook and twitter to gather viewers that could spur on this form of play.

Did it work
This project did first and foremost prove that context is king in terms of generating playful behaviour through the app Periscope. To crazy or weird a context with these well known characters and what they stand for can be too hard for the viewers participating in the “theatrical” play session which again can hamper the generation of playful behaviour. If it does match, this form of theatrical play can be a powerful force as the users are given agency on the overall direction of the play session. This project also elucidates that there is definately a potential for this kind of play as the people that participated in it were very positive and found it quite funny once the initial confusion was overcome.

Want to learn more
If you want to learn more, please feel free to read the project: Periscope. In case of citation, please mail me or one of the other person responsible for this project.

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