Blast Theory / Mixed Reality Lab, Can You See Me Now?

Review in Issue 17-1 | Spring 2005

So who wants to see white blobs representing you in a virtual world in a computer chased in real time by global positioning, headphone, digital camera equipped runners running around the real world, armed with tracking devices that tell them when they are in the same spot as you? There is freshness when you can hear the performers (actors? agents?) breathing heavily though your headphones. It is oddly disorientating, moving slowly on a computer screen through a rudimentary mock up of the University of Sussex campus. You can see the representations of your real life pursuers closing in, like dots on a sonar screen. You might move round the back of the Gardner Arts Centre, and hear the muffled yelps in the real world as your tracker slips on the steep wet grass bank. Compared to the video games market it is very slow and ‘unrealistic', no smooth graphically modelled explosions and sounds. It is cumbersome, and I got that sense of frustration that you get when your car won't go, or you're in a dream when your legs won't move. But you are safe inside a warm building in front of an antiseptic computer – it is an odd experience. A computer game that isn't a computer game, hooked up with the digital equivalent of string. So who does want to take part in this? ‘Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?’ Said Harry Warner, and got it spectacularly wrong.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Sep 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-1
p. 28