Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I had some ideas of how to kind of work against the foundation of the game in order to see how a living video game city would react. I'm very familiar with the maps and I wanted to put a new spin on the game to see what would happen if I worked outside how it was intended to be played.
1. Pistols only
2. Level must be completed backwards
3. No environment or health pickups allowed
The level had to be fought through once to start at the end, and playing it through backwards, it was interesting to compare the experience of the level how it was meant to be played versus creating your own experience. The game has an on-the-fly A.I. system that will throw hordes of zombies at the player if nothing is happening, and this was the only threat on the way back. It was a bit disappointing to see how relatively scripted the level was, but the challenge that we imposed for our team made things a little bit more lively.
I didn't get the experience I thought I would get of taking the level backward (disorientation, fresh-ness), but it mixed up the setting a bit, and our self imposed challenges insured that we didn't altogether make it to the end
1.Turn at every traffic light or stop sign intersection
2.When you turn onto a one-way street, walk against traffic
3.When you turn onto a numbered street, ignore rule 2 and walk with traffic
4.When you turn onto a two-way street, turn right
I started walking on 17th street towards Norris and took photographs on every corner. I noticed a lot of houses, schools, and churches. I also noticed that a lot of the homes that i saw were rundown and abandoned. One thing that i noticed a lot was the overgrown plants and weeds that take up a lot of the rundown houses. I liked a lot of these overgrown plants, it was like a kind of natural art. One house that i photographed had vines completely covering the side of it, it really reminded me of art and kind of looked like it was meant to be a piece of art.
Monday, October 19, 2009
On Sunday, I walked from 15th and Market and 2nd and Market, which when I usually am around that area I walk straight along Market until I get to the specific destination I'm headed, but this time I wanted to branch out and go to separate streets and destinations sticking out of there. With no real thought on a map of Market street on mapquest, I added different side routes to go out of my way to before returning and continuing down Market. The map is to the side, with a blue path on Market street route and red paths on the side routes I added.
The rule of observation I decided upon was to look at other people and take note of their destinations or purposes in being there. Some pictures below detail some of those moments, and some other observations I took notice of.
This couple was near the beginning of my walk, the man is holding a camera in his left hand, and they took pictures of the setting around them.
This business couple went into the Philadelphia Convention Center to the side.
Up between 6th and 5th and Market, a small car accident had occured. The passengers were fine, talking to an officer next to a police car nearby, with another police car blocking off traffic on the other side.
An older couple up near 4th went into a nearby diner.
Rule of 10's:
Start out at 15th and Market
Movement 1 = Go 5 blocks west, then 5 blocks south
Movement 2 = Go 7 blocks east, then 3 blocks north
Movement 3 = Go 4 blocks west, then 6 blocks north
Movement 4 = Go 8 blocks east, then 2 blocks south
Movement 5 = Go 9 blocks east, then 1 block north
At each stop: 1- record where I am
2- record what I see
3- record anything interesting
4 take pictures
General Notes: I was able to see the full spectrum of parts of center city, historical, business, trendy, ethnic, and residential. I saw a lot more for sale and for rent signs then I remember seeing the last time I walked around Center City. It must be the economy. There were a lot of shops with "recession sale" signs. There was even a restaurant with a "recession menu" on certain days. Yet with all these recession issues I saw not one, but 2 stores devoted to freakin dogs. I find that very disturbing! Sorry dog lovers! I noticed the dog stores didn't have any "recession sales". I also found that approaching areas from a different direction and not planning on going there gave areas I had been before have a different perspective. Sometimes it took me a second or two to realize I had been somewhere before. Walking a total of 50 blocks in 2 hours is way more exercise then I was interested in! I saw several shops, restaurants, and locations that I had not seen before that I might want to explore later.
Journey: Started out at 15th and Market at 4:48pm. There was the usual level of activity a lot of business people, etc. moving about, nothing out of the ordinary there, just business as usual. I took movement 1 and arrived at 20th and Spruce at 5:07pm. This area was more residential, row homes and a few small restaurants and shops as well as a small grocery store. There were a lot of for rent and for sale signs. I took movement 2 and arrived at 13th and Samsom at 5:30pm. There were several trendy restaurants in this area, a construction zone where a bar used to be, and one of those freakin dog stores I mentioned earlier. I took movement 3 and arrived at 17th and race at 5:52pm. This area was a bit quieter than the previous ones, a lot less people. There was a vacant storefront, a church, an office building, and the rear of a hotel and a school. There was a big truck loading dock at the hotel. I took movement 4 and arrived at Arch and 9th Street at 6:16pm. This area was on the outer edge of Chinatown. There was an Asian bank, the police and fire credit union, a parking lot, and various Asian restaurants and shops. I took movement 5. I ran into a problem on this one as I ran into a dead end where the Interstate was so I did not follow the rule completely. I arrived at my final stop at Race and the Interstate at 6:40pm. There were no people around here, just cars, the interstate, and a couple of buildings. It wasn't the most eventful trip, but I did see a few things I might not have seen otherwise and may explore more of later.
I took 30 pictures, which would be too much to post on here. Here is a link to a Flickr webpage where you can view my pictures:
1) To start, choose a bench and sit down. Then look for something that represents history, or has an air of history behind it. Take a picture.
2) The picture should be in black and white. The effect adds to the historical feel of the project.
3) Walk towards the image you just captured, and find the nearest possible bench. Repeat step one.
Onto the images:
One of said benches. I thought it was interesting because every bench is dedicated in memory of someone.
This bell tower caught my eye after sitting at the first bench.
I snapped this photo after getting to the second bench, just across the street from the first. The church has apparently stood there since 1818.
I took this photo because you don't really see too many shoe repair shops anymore. Let alone one that bears the name, Quaker.
I guess you could call this a "landmark" of Haddonfield. This dinosaur sculpture is actually sort of famous. And the mere mention of the word dinosaur has a historical connotation.
I ended up past the Haddonfield speedline, and eventually saw this set of stairs. Kind of run-down, falling apart, and old-looking.
I realize that there is a vast degree of randomness and the path taken depends completely on the eye of the participant, but the project lends itself to several permutations.
Overall the experience was one of making a very familiar location feel totally unfamiliar, just by the routes taken to get to frequently visited stores.
Here's the first turn I made at a directory sign. I apologize for the blurry quality. I turned left, coming to a jewelry display, seen here on the far left
Here's the display itself where I hung a right, which from the perspective of this photo, would be forward.That turn would then bring me to a Bank of America ATM. This was an awkward moment as there was a man using it at the time, and I didn't wish to snap a photo of his pin. Hung a left here, which would a 180 from the perspective of this photo. That was another thing about snapping photos in a mall, which was that people were always within frame, potentially leading to awkward questions about what I was doing. Somehow that never happened though.
Here I took a right...
Which brought me to a corner, which I had to follow around,
until I was facing the Food Court again. The Bank of America ATM is behind the tree on the left.
After all this I think I think you get the general idea, so let's skip to the end:I'd actually passed by the Forever 21 multiple times during the experiment, and turn at that light blue stand several times. But it was this particular time, when I had to make a left, that I was forced to go straight inside. Entrance seen above.
My rules were as follows:
1. Scan the ground for cigarette butts and walk over to them
2. Take a picture of the object/area that the cigarette butt was on or near
3. Multiple cigarette butts around an object means you must take multiple pictures
The first thing I noticed was that people seemed drawn to trees when engaging in their smoking and tossing of the butt. It is also interesting to note that most of these trees were oaks.
Smokers also seemed drawn to large patches of grass. Many butts were found scattered amongst the grass.
Also, smokers seemed drawn to places where one could sit down, as evidenced by the stump and picnic table.
Seeing how many cigarette butts were littered around the landscape made me realize how many people had been through the trails I was walking on. I found myself wondering what was going through their heads as their were smoking and what possessed them to influence this natural environment with something so unnatural and manmade. What does that imply? It's definitely something to think about.
I began on the corner of 15th and Norris, turned right and headed out west…
Apologies for the lighting... (camera phone)
My first eye pleasing observation, right on my block. A mural of multiple little scenes along the bottom of the house and steps.
Turning Left (south) on 16th St. and Norris
On 16th street I passed some real interesting artwork I had no idea existed only 2 blocks from my home...
I started thinking alot about what this mural might mean. especially when considering the location, the neighborhood, and the city...
"We must be the change we want to see in the world..."
*Note: not far from the previous mural.
The next intersection I came to was with Berks street, but it was a traffic light that you could not turn left on, and with my experiment's rules I could not make a right unless faced with a stop sign, so I skipped on to the next block, Montgomery, which was yet another light.
Making the Left off of 16th st. onto Montgomery
A pile of various parts and pieces. Mostly cement. Pieces of a past structure or future building blocks...
It wasn't long before I discovered the flaw in my algorhithm's rules. As I came to the corner of Montomgery and 15th St. I noticed that I was making a giant loop right back to where I had started by making three consecutive left turns. I guess I should have planned ahead for something like this happening, but I thought I had just as a good a chance at coming across stop signs too...
Making the left onto 15th street from Montgomery
An interesting structure observed otuside a building on 15th st. heading back to Norris
Although the trip was short, I thought it was a valuable one. Not only did I learn a lesson in planning an urban algorithm, but it was the first time I just aimlessly walked around my neighborhood this year, taking in my surroundings, and I found a real enjoyment in it. It gave me an appreciation for the area and a desire to explore further and see what uncovered gems may lie just around the corner. . .
basically, for my project, I wanted not only the experience to be in a way algorithmic, but I wanted the end result to be too. So, like most people, when I hear "algorithm", I think of math. What is the best and easiest way to experience math? With numbers. So, with that, I devised a set of rules that comprised of the following: