Personal Manifesto: the Amoebic Medium
As an undergrad a sensitive awareness of how technical limitations and the particularities of the construction of some hardware kindled as we learned of the various hacks different pioneers formulated to make the most of very limited hardware power. We learned of how the tile-based nature of nintendo games was a clever mathematical way of squeezing more graphical power out of the system. Of the procedural hacks the first runner, Pitfall, had to utilize to generate its treacherous jungle. In examining early pioneering work in the digital medium, specifically in early video games an idea of the particular affordances of the digital medium arises. Specifically the idea of choice, of an interchange between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and the agency that arms the player with is one particular aspect the digital grants the media it touches.
This agency removes some of the power from the author and grants some of it to the player. The player is now, to varying degrees, responsible for their experience of the story. The player’s journey through the story becomes more personalized, with more of their fingerprints imprinted upon the final experience.
I see much potential in interactive work to foster empathy and connect with others in a manner of immediacy and high resolution particular to the digital. Through sensitive consideration of the platform utilized and the ways interaction is coded into a piece I hope a more sensitive understanding of the digital’s properties can emerge and that I can help tease out particular elements, syntactical pieces that can later be leveraged for more conscientiously designed work.