Propinquity

with Stéphanie Bouchard, Lynn Hughes and Bart Simon, Technoculture Art and Games, Concordia University.

The Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Kinect and Sony Eye represent a new paradigm in video gaming, emphasizing the active use of players' entire bodies in their gameplay. Propinquity takes embodied gameplay one step further, by turning each player into the other player's game controller. Instead of orienting towards a camera, console and screen, players each orient towards the other's moving body. Each player wears four sets of reconfigurable wireless proximity and touch sensors. When these sensors become active, as indicated by LEDs on each sensor patch, the other player must attempt to trigger the proximity sensor without touching the touch sensor. Vibro-tactile feedback conveys the impression of an invisible, but present, aura around each player. While ambient visuals provide a sense of each player's progress, and show scores at the end of each level, feedback is primarily audio and tactile so that the players can focus on one another. Propinquity is a videogame imagined as shared experience, where the other player – rather than a screen, controller, or camera – is the focus of your attention.

Propinquity #1 (photo by Brian Li)
Propinquity #2 (photo by Brian Li)
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Propinquity
Publications
Amanda Williams, Lynn Hughes, and Bart Simon. In extended abstracts of Ubicomp 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark.