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"[This generation has] developed another skill, one that almost looks like patience: they are more tolerant of being out of control, more tolerant of that exploratory phase where the rules don't all make sense, and where few goals have been clearly defined." -- Emergence

Click here to view slideshow of gameplay in progress.

Certainly the players of Storyboard were not quite sure what the point of the whole thing was. But not knowing what the point of the gameplay was did not seem to deter the ITP community from playing. Most members of the ITP community seemed not only to tolerate the exploratory phase, but also to revel in it. While we were asked many questions about Storyboard, what we were trying to find out, whether or not certain moves broke the rules, etc., we tried to stay as far removed from the gameplay as possible to see what the players decided on their own.

Players discussed the rules a lot, deciding what constituted breaking the rules and what didn't. Eric Forman decided that breaking a game piece in two was still following the rules (beheading a doll within the first five minutes of gameplay), but that once the game piece was broken, only one piece of it could be legally moved in a turn. James Powderly noticed the "logic" behind the rules as if it were a program: "If this is true then this can be true or false."

Andrea Stein wondered if you could accumulate moves by holding off moving for a day, but ultimately decided you could not. Tim Russell lamented that someone had already moved "his man" and he couldn't do anything about it for fifty-two minutes. It was interesting to note how some players seemed very invested in the moves they made on the board, attached to the tableau they had created, while others did not seem to care much about the fate of their construct.

While we created a rule that permitted players to bring pieces of their own to the Storyboard, we were not at all sure if any players would. The "bring your own game piece" rule however, seemed to generate a lot of excitement amongst the players. The game board received the addition of a green car, a banana, a giant doll head, and tiny pirate action figures among other pieces.

On the final day of the installation, one player discovered a loophole in the rules that we felt constituted a macrobehavior of the gameplay. By exploiting the pond rule, a game player could, in fact, continue making as many moves as they liked, which seemed to break the intention of the set of rules, while nevertheless following them to the letter.




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Contact: Jake Barton, Alicia Cervini, Ryan Leffel, Susan Leopold
Interactive Telecommunications Program, Copyright 2001 ©