Physical Video Games Let You Make One Move A Day
Designer challenges people's obsession with instant gratification
Modern society puts a lot of emphasis on instant gratification, but one designer is trying to show people another way with a physical video game that only lets you take one move per day. Created by New York-based Ishac Bertran, Slow Games was inspired by classic games such as Mario and Pong. While most modern games require good hand-eye coordination and concentration, Slow Games puts the focus on memory, capacity of observation and patience.
The project consists of three different consoles with their own unique input method: button, toggle, and orientation. Similar to the “jump button” on platform games, the button is sensitive to the amount of time it’s pressed. What’s unique is that the player will only be able to see the effect of their action the following day. The toggle box is suitable for games that require moves to the left or right. Finally, the orientation box allows players to control the direction of elements in the display by changing the orientation of the console.
Here’s a more detailed explanation from the designer’s website:
I’m using Slow Games as a platform to experiment with low pace, long lasting gameplays, and explore game mechanics that keep players engaged throughout weeks of play with simple rule variations. As an example, the Slow version of Pong starts with the ball moving at a speed of 1 (fig. 1) but increases by 1 unit every time the ball hits the paddle. A few days into the game, the player has to predict the path of the ball which will bounce multiple times in one move (one day), requiring her to set the paddle in a specific position in order to cover all the hit spots (fig. 2).
The project is also part of a larger piece of research which focuses on how we use technology today. Slow Games started as an exploration of the instant feedback we demand from technology, and the consequent fast pace that instils in our lives.