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Balthazar Auger

1pxg: Press when Black - Timed loop

1pxg1 min read

Notice the subtle change in the title? As I had added a timer to the white state, in this iteration I add a timer to the black state, effectively creating a loop that doesn’t require human input.

[![Press when Black - timed loop](https://i0.wp.com/www.bauger.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/03-pwb-timedloop.png?resize=441%2C241 "03-pwb-timedloop")](https://i0.wp.com/www.bauger.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/03-pwb-timedloop.png)Press when Black - timed loop
The title of the two previous iterations, “Press to win”, doesn’t quite apply here anymore, since the previous initial state, black, no longer waits for player input. The new rule creates a window of opportunity for successful interaction (since white doesn’t accept any input). Of course, the title is also part of the experience and since it also looks like a little like an instruction, I believe I can safely say that this system has much more ludicity than the previous two. An improvised test session tended to show that people end up trying to press the button as fas as possible when black appears, which is a good testament to the improved ludicity of this prototype.

So, I’ve added just one rule and all of the sudden the dull, simple interactive system of the two previous examples became a simple and dull game-like interactive system. What do you think just happened?

My hypothesis is that the time loop allows something not to happen, thus sparking different nodes in the user’s mind than those used when using any non-game software. When something doesn’t happen in a regular piece of software, you get frustrated and blame the developer, but when something doesn’t happen in a game-y piece of software, you tend to blame yourself. And so you try again, and again, until you reach your patience’s limit and then blame the developer.

Could we perhaps think from this that games are systems that accept, integrate and exploit failure? I think we could…

EDIT: I forgot adding a link to the prototype (swf), silly me.

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