Sylvia Kosowski

15 Jan 2015

Project 1 – Oculus Rift Gameception

In this project, a team of developers called Takohi created a Gameboy emulator which runs inside Unity games. The idea of a game-within-a-game is further enhanced by running the game using Oculus Rift to create a virtual reality experience. I find the idea of nested games fascinating. Imagine if virtual reality were so advanced that it was almost indistinguishable from actual reality. If virtual reality games were nested inside other virtual reality games, it would be impossible for a player to figure out when they are playing a game and when they are in reality- basically the game equivalent of Inception. Of course, this idea is also pretty terrifying. That being said, I think there’s a lot of potential for games-within-games without taking it to such an extreme level (i.e. actions the player takes in nested games could produce consequences in the outer layer of games, etc.) To this end, I think the project didn’t explore all the things it could potentially explore with the nested game concept. The project is more of a technical demo and less of an exploration into how nested games can create a unique experience for gameplay. That being said, this project is obviously just meant to be a tool for others to use in their own Unity projects, so it’s understandable that the creators themselves might not explore all the possibilities available with nested games right away. The creators main influence for creating the project was simply that they enjoyed playing Gameboy games as children and wanted to create an emulator, so they decided to create one in Unity.

Project 2 – Classic Paintings as Data

The second project I found was created by Yousuke Ozawa and is a visualization of classical paintings as data. In these pieces, the artist took digital image files of the paintings, and printed out the code that makes up these digital files, displaying this image data as a new work of art. I think these pieces are interesting because they are reverse takes on data visualization. They present raw data as an art form when usually data visualization pieces attempt to mask the data with pretty visuals. It also inspired me to think about how data can come from many different and unique sources: data isn’t limited to numbers in spreadsheets. While I appreciate the bold statement of just displaying the raw, unedited data, I do think that the project could be interesting if the raw data was more interactive with the viewer rather than just a long cluster of words to look at. For example, it could be interesting to provide some sort of app in which the user could search up certain words or patterns in the data, or compare patterns in the data between two different pieces, etc. In the article I read, Ozawa was influenced by going to museums and thinking about how paintings are so much more detailed in real life than in their digital replicas. That caused him to think of the physical qualities of the paint as data which inspired the data visualization project.