Vis-à-Vis is a series of multi-player games that utilize physical body movements to control the point of view in a first person perspective computer game. The framework uses a TabletPC, held in the player’s outstretched arms, to display the point of view one would normally see while playing a computer game.
To rotate, tilt, and move the games’ virtual camera, players need only to do so physically, as sensors measure all changes in movement.
The games, entitled ‘Red Light, Green Light Go’, ‘Dodgeman’, and ‘Act Normal’, are based on children’s playground games. Vis-à-vis explores the timeless fundamentals of games inherent to both digital and and classic play. Each game uses on our “reverse Turing Test”- one player tries to behave as much like their fellow A.I. characters as possible, while the second player attempts to discern the human player from the bots.
Arguably the most compelling experience provided by a Vis-à-vis game is that it not only requires the player to get off their couch, but to literally become physically active. The criticism that electronic games compel people to stay in their living room does not apply here.
The first game developed is a Vis-à-Vis version of the children’s game “Red Light, Green Light, Go”. Requiring a minimum of two players, the “Runner” player (along with 7 AI characters) tries to sneak up on the “Traffic Cop” player. That “Traffic Cop” starts and stops the approach by yelling “Red Light” or “Green Light”. This scenario plays out as a sort of reverse Turing test as the “Traffic Cop” spins and tilts their view in an effort to decide which of the approaching characters is indeed the human player.
Other possibilities range from numerous versions of playground games, roll-playing games, and location-based games. The multiplayer functionality provided through the Torque Game Engine allows up to 32 people to play in real-time from anywhere in the world.
Vis-à-vis games made its first appearance as part of SIGGRAPH’s Guerilla Studio on August 2nd 2005.
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