Audio Arc

Audio Arc is an audio-spatial participatory game for a group of players (10-40) using mobile phone ringtones. Players choose a partner and set their phone alarm to the same default ringtone (or a sound that is recognisable to their partner. Alarms are set a few minutes in advance of the game starting so that they all activate at the same time. Once the phone alarm activates, players seek their audio counterparts with the matching ringtone whilst blindfolded. On locating their partner, players can remove their blindfolds and can then assist or confuse remaining players. Each session takes approximately 30 minutes including setup, play and audience debrief.

The game is designed to keep rules and organization to a minimum so players may focus on the experience of navigating space using audio cues. The simplicity of the game play belies the more profound contemplation of the role of the human senses in orientation within an environment. It draws attention to the proliferation of digital sound in everyday situations. Each time the game is played, a unique soundscape is generated based upon the number of players, their choice of ringtone and the inherent acoustic qualities of the site of play. The mobile phone is re-signified for ludic and collaborative ends in ways that facilitate ad-hoc social interaction and draws attention to our audio-spatial senses.

2013 Convergence, Design Hub RMIT
reativity and Cognition, Eugene Goosens Hall, ABC Ultimo Centre
Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Creativity & Cognition
Pages 401-402 

Game created by: Jonathan Duckworth & Jennifer Lade, Daniel Von Seld and Livia Von Seld at Games for Change workshop with Heather Kelly.
Implementation and performance developed by: Jonathan Duckworth and Jennifer Lade. 

Photos: Credit Sam Heiligers