Liquid idea
Liquid idea

view the online proposal here
The project 'Firewall' is a prototype for an interactive learning tool in which a variety of communities can explore morality, ethics, intention and consequence through environment, language and action within a video game framework.

We define an interactive learning tool as a computer-based environment in which defined scenarios that explore social behaviour can be played out. Within game play, it is acknowledged that displaced experiences such as sex and aggression can be engaged with in an exaggerated form (albeit within a restricted framework). However, exploring a more diverse set of social behaviours ones for example that are less 'fantastic' and draw upon public and private memories and experiences remains a relatively untapped area. We aim to 'cast' remote players by way of interview. This is to implicate the players into the story. Many of the players' own memories will drive and inform actions and events that will be played out and 'lived through' within the game framework. Actions will be regulated by the team of players, and have consequences on the plot and the other characters. We anticipate involving behavioural psychologists and related professionals from the outset to explore the behavioural patterns of an online community. In particular, we will be exploring how players/characters respond to notions of the self as a virtual avatar, through working with reconfigured memories and experiences.

We will be exploring the framework of an online gaming environment. We perceive this loosely to be a 3D multi-player, real time online game. We will initially be researching a template for the game environment and looking at a wide spectrum of 3D games (from mainstream to more experimental models, such as Quake and Unreal) to find a close match for our requirements. Our conceptual template will be mapped onto the selected game engine.

We aim to explore and reconfigure the traditional narrative structures found not only in gaming, but that more widely serve as restrictive definitions within technology. Terms such as linear/non-linear narrative and interactivity are often peddled within an art/technological terrain, but are insufficient signposts in the light of convergent technologies a definition that splinters and radically shifts the relationship of social spaces and social interaction. We aim to create an experimental narrative model that is more precise in reflecting these technological and cultural shifts, whilst challenging existing, prescriptive definitions.

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John Paul Bichard -
Caroline Smith -


Click here to view the project proposal PDF.

Click here to view the project microsite.

Click here to view the project response PDF.