LOCATIVE MEDIA GAME PLAY AND ARTWORK INSTALLATIONS, MELBOURNE
A-LURE’s original artwork outcome was conceived as a computer game. During conceptual development discussions, the young people talked about the impact that communication technologies and emerging social media were having on their lives. They acknowledged that their ability to connect in the real world was being adversely affected by the increasing time they spent communicating in the rapidly evolving virtual world. The team then came across a relatively new phenomenon called locative media and were immediately interested in exploring how the virtual world might provide an opportunity for people to engage creatively in real environments.
In a challenge to traditional gaming culture, in A-LURE there would be no competition, no winners and no losers. Everyone would benefit by playing the game through interaction and social participation. The questions that the game explored were: What are the modern cultural lures that tempt us away from confidence, self-respect and acceptance? How do these lures affect us as a culturally diverse society? How do we resist them? How can we create alternative lures that encourage empathy, understanding and respect?
Before the game went live, a media campaign was created to alert the community to the forthcoming A-LURE. A billboard ‘play the real world’ was produced and displayed for four weeks at a high-profile advertising site on the corner of Bridge Road and Church Street in Richmond, Melbourne.
After two years of development, A-LURE, a locative media game for all ages, hit Melbourne’s streets to transform six locations across the city from neutral public spaces to creative and interactive cultural sites. Streets and laneways became the canvas for artworks where video projections, sound and hybrid media were applied to physical environments, triggering real-life social interactions.
It was a game designed with multiple entry points and experiences, played through the use of a mobile phone. Audiences wanting to ‘play the real world’ could register via the A-LURE website to establish an online presence and contribute content to artworks. In this way the virtual world was used both to create elements of the game and to bring people into the game.
The six artworks challenged the audience to make decisions as they located each installation and experienced its power.