So somewhat of a spur-of-the-moment post, but I was procrastinating by watching videos on YouTube and came across this:
From what I can tell, this is an online mobile crane game in which you remotely control a real-life crane in a machine that is in Japan(?). If that doesn’t mess around with platform and interface, I don’t know what else would. I find it amazing that the internet has come to the point where people from wherever they are can use a controller (phone) to play a game occurring in the “meatspace” of another country.
However, this brings into question of the relative nature of mechanics and accessibility. On one hand, you now have an interface that affords you access to a game that you wouldn’t otherwise have – even the Toreba website advertises itself as, “Get[ting] the same feeling as playing a crane game in an arcade with Toreba!” On the other hand, there are inherent limitations to playing a physical game “virtually” in that there aren’t the tactical sensations of operating the crane machine in person, seeing the game through cameras (which we’ve discussed as having their own implications), transmitting data over the internet, among other things.
Sometimes I find myself thinking that what I do on the internet, virtually, remains in that ‘non-meatspace’ space, in the same way that the gameworld exists out of an understood space of “reality,” both in terms of space and time. But to come across this type of videogame where change is effected onto the real world makes me reconsider that line of thinking – what does it mean for a game to break out of the ‘playworld’ and provide the player with a platform to interact and change their reality in playing this game through this controller?
In short, I thought this was a cool video somewhat corresponding to the discussion from last class, so it might be something to keep in mind for future projects coming up!