Month: November 2017

Artwork #3: Conspiracy Crafting


Conspiracy Crafting is an intervention in which 3-4 participants are asked to observe and capture seemingly disconnected and mundane elements they observe throughout their everyday life, and somehow connect them into a one chain of related clues or events. Players must pin each “lead” or “clue” onto a billboard, and connect clues to one another using red twine.


  • 1 Large billboard
  • 1 spool of red twine/yarn
  • A small box of thumbtacks or red pins
  • Open minds and creativity

The Rules

First, assemble a team of 3-4 players who are willing to participate in this week-long intervention.
Then, determine where the team’s “office” will be. The “office” will be the space where the billboard is kept, and players gather to discuss their findings (Find someplace safe and secure, you wouldn’t want any spies to interfere with your sleuthing).




The (perfectly messy) “office” space.

After the team is gathered in the office for the first time,  all players must agree on a single “clue” present in the room to pin on the board as the first lead. After the prime lead is decided upon, the intervention begins.
For the following week after the prime lead is pinned, players must gather whatever they deem to be clues that could somehow relate to the conspiracy in their mind. Be it newspaper clippings with interesting headlines, pictures of places that may fit into your theory, or perhaps the series of numbers on a dinner receipt, any mundane object could possibly be a clue. It is up to the player’s discretion to link their everyday occurrences and findings, to the possible conspiracy at play. Players are free to come into the office and pin their leads, as well as discuss them among themselves over the course of the week.
The player’s objectives are to fill the billboard with as many clues as possible by the end of the time limit, and come up with a single solid conspiracy based on the connected clues present on the billboard.

The first atttempt’s final results.

Inspiration & Statement

The concept I was going for with this game was to simulate activities with meaning as I’ve seen in several interventions, the main inspiration being The Jejune Institute. The Institute in particular was a great inspiration for this intervention in part to the nature of what it was intervening. Not only did it take place in the real streets of San Francisco, overlapping and seeping into the lives of players and participants alike, but it brought with it a great deal of meaning and surrealism to the participating players, as an intervention of their everyday mindsets. As I was able to discern, The Institute was an intervention with a purpose of bringing a sense of fantasy and intrigue to otherwise jejune aspects of life. It was an exercise in seeing through the everyday cycle and finding something to be invested in, some feeling of wonder. I found that motive fascinating, and tried to capture that same sort of feel with this intervention.

The nature of this intervention is also very much based on the cliche of an obsessed theorist, tirelessly connecting dots on a mysterious murder case or other hidden conspiracy. It’s a sort of cliche that’s widely used in media.

Charlie Day, demonstrating the cliche.

I took this convention and brought it to life in form of this intervention, because I thought the exercise of trying to find a method in the madness of a conspiracy theorist, is a good parallel to the motive of connecting real life to the extraordinary.

Overall, I thought the game succeeded in its attempt to interfere with a mind-space at the least. It wasn’t quite able to intervene with a physical space outside that of the chosen “office” space, but what the game asks of the players still very much seemed to open their eyes to zany, often humorous (im)possibilities abstracted from banal artifacts in their everyday life.


Indie Show & Tell: Madrid


MADRID is a Newsgame made by the same group of people who made September 12th. It was created shortly after the Madrid Train Bombings in 2004, in which 192 people were killed and around 2,000 people were injured. The game was made to commemorate the deceased in this tragedy.

The game mechanic is simple: The player can click on each candle to make them glow brighter, and the assumed goal is to make all the candles glow bright at the same time to pass the process bar in the bottom left corner. However, this is physically impossible to accomplish because the candles go out way too quickly. If the process bar reaches zero, you lose the game and the screen says “You have to keep trying.”

The message of the game is that you can’t keep the memory of the terrorist attacks alive forever. People WILL forget.


Artwork #3 (Intervention): Pinning Positivity

Artwork #3 (Intervention): Pinning Positivity


Clothes pins with compliments written on one side and “Pass it on!” written on the other (10 for each player)


Can be played with any number of teams (1 person per team)

Players receive 10 clothes pins each

Players have 5 minutes to distribute the clothes pins (and compliments) however they see fit. The goal here is for players to read the compliment written on the pin and to attach the pin to a stranger (without being noticed) who they think the compliment applies to.

Players earn 1 point for every clothes pin they attach to a stranger without getting noticed

Players lose one point every time they are caught

After 5 minutes, the scores are tallied. The winner is the player with the most points.

Artist’s Statement:

The point of this intervention is to anonymously spread positivity and compliments. I think that our generation sometimes has trouble expressing sincerity without being able to hide behind the veil of social media, and this game makes it easy to compliment people and express your thoughts without being overt, awkward, or uncomfortable. In many ways, it is a social statement on how difficult it has become to approach a stranger and compliment them, and it proposes a solution to this problem and is an example of a way to spread positivity without direct and uncomfortable communication. I wanted players to have to carefully consider who they attached the pins to by reading the pin and looking at the people around them, and to then tactically decide how to attach it without drawing attention to themselves. This game makes the daunting task of approaching a stranger and complimenting them fun and far less intimidating, tasking them with maintaining anonymity and turning the entire process into a game.

The playtests I conducted for this game went extremely well; they were very fun to watch and player feedback suggested that trying to attach the pins without being noticed was difficult but felt very rewarding. Players said that they enjoyed the game, and that it was a playful, fun, non-awkward alternative to approaching a stranger and verbally complimenting them.  I am very happy with the results of the playtests and think that this game accomplishes most if not all of what I was aiming for.


I have three primary inspirations for this game. I was largely inspired by my friends, who used to have an obsession with pinning clothes pins to people’s backs without them noticing. They once pinned me when I was going through airport security, which made me pretty upset. However, I appreciated the intervention and playfulness of the action, and wanted to translate this into a more positive and less annoying game.

I was also inspired by the Jejune Institute and the idea of bringing players into a magic circle that merges with the real world. It’s a game that brings people into it without them really realizing that they are a part of a game; to most people, the pins are nothing more than an everyday artifact, but to players, they represent a way to communicate with those outside of the magic circle and potentially bring them into it, encouraging them to pass on the positivity.

I was also inspired by such interventions as the Gameboy/Super Kid Fighter intervention and the Barbie Liberation Organization intervention, and the idea of intervening with people in a way that could be considered mildly annoying but also has an undeniable aspect of humor and clever playfulness that, in my opinion, largely negates whatever inconvenience it may bring.


Each clothes pin says “Pass it on!” as a way to encourage spreading the positivity.

Examples of phrases on clothes pins

A pinned student

A pinned student who took off his jacket without noticing the pin.

Video of gameplay:

Artwork #3 Intervene: Drive through the Battlefield

Drive through the Battlefield


Artist Statement:

First of all, I was targeting to use a digital game for the intervene, so I choose to use the game that is pretty popular recently, PUBG, The Player’s Unknown Battleground.

Originally, PUBG is a game that requires the players to find weapons to eliminate any other player who is not on the team. After you eliminate all the other players, you win the match, and the symbolic term will appear “Winner winner, Chicken dinner.”

In order to intervene in this game, my team will just intervene the game by ourselves, because it is pretty hard to communicate with other team and let other team members to intervene.

Instead of playing PUBG as a shooting and survival games, we decide to make it a driving and drifting game, so we will not use weapon to kill other players but drive through the battlefield and try to keep ourselves alive.

After this experience, my team felt another type of fun and comment that they felt like they are playing temple run in PUBG. This intervene has changed the original experience of team survival competition into something like a drifting showcase at the end.

Artwork #3: Follow Me If You Dare



Materials needed:

Win condition:
The player wins if they successfully get at least one person to follow them as they cross the street alone, preferably when the traffic light is red.

In Follow Me If You Dare, the player starts at a traffic light with other people who are waiting for the lights to turn so that they can cross the street. The player should try to be the first one to start walking (only when it’s safe, of course) and try to get as many people to follow them as possible. If the player is able to get at least one person to follow them as they cross the street, they win; otherwise, they lose.

The first location we played at was the walkway across Huntington Avenue right in front of Krentzman Quad. It was almost 5 pm when we started playing, so there were a lot of cars but not too many students crossing. One thing that surprised me was how eager people were to cross the street: I was intentionally trying to be the first one to cross every single time, but someone would always cross fearlessly before me when I thought it was still too dangerous to walk out. Since this location wasn’t working too well and I wasn’t able to start the game properly most of the time, my friend who was filming suggested to try the large intersection on Massachusetts Avenue, because there were a lot of people going home from work on that street, and the traffic light was always red even after the cars stopped coming. Therefore, we went to try playing on the Massachusetts Avenue intersection instead.

The intersection on Massachusetts Avenue was a lot busier, there were more pedestrians crossing although most weren’t students, and there were more cars as well. There was indeed a long waiting time even after the cars had stopped to come. It was easier to get people to follow me too, since more people were looking down on their phones and blindly following the people in front of them, possibly because no one had to rush anywhere after work. Since people on the other side of the street could also see me, there was one time when they followed my move to cross the street as well. After all, the game played out very well on Massachusetts Avenue.

Follow Me If You Dare started with the idea to do something in the public space that involves people passing on the streets. Some of the inspirations came from The Yes Men and videos made by the YouTube channel Improv Everywhere, such as Frozen Grand Central and The Mute Button. I wanted to intervene with people’s daily life without letting them know that they were participating in a game. For example, in Waiting in Line for the iPhone X at a FAKE Apple Store by Improv Everywhere, people on the streets actually believed in the fake Apple Store and didn’t realize it was just a performance. A similar case would be the New York Times Hoax created by the Yes Men; they deliberately made the appropriated version of New York Times extremely similar to the original New York Times and had people dressed up as New York Times workers, which is why many people thought the news on the newspaper really happened.

As the role of the phone becomes more important in the society, more and more people keep their heads down when they are waiting, walking, or even crossing the streets, which had caused many accidents. This makes it more likely for them to simply follow someone in front and move with them at the same pace. Even if the person is not on their phone before they cross the street, they would still be more likely to cross after someone has taken the first step. I thought this phenomenon was very interesting, so I decided to base my project around it and record how many people unconsciously participated in my game without knowing it. I did want to add in more scenarios and test people’s herd mentality by setting up different scenes, but the fact that my project needed more than one friend to help me and that we only had one week to work on this limited my options, so I decided to mainly focus on the first idea.

Artwork #3 Intervene: Walking in Sync

For my intervention, I wanted to do something noticeable but subtle. Something that people not involved would look at and think about, but not something terribly disruptive in the place where it occurred. In some ways it worked and in others it failed; I’m not sure if I was successful overall.

I was mainly inspired by the group Improv Everywhere and their piece “Frozen Grand Central.” The idea of doing something in a public place that get people to look and ask questions is very cool to me, so I wanted to do something similar. Everyone freezing in place would have been ripping them off, so I decided to do the opposite and have a bunch of people do the exact same thing.

The Plan

My original plan was to start out walking alone, trying to stay in step with a stranger walking in the same direction as myself. As I walked the route I planned others who were in on it would join in as I passed, walking in step behind me. The farther we went, the longer the chain would become. I hoped that at some point strangers would decide to join in. Once we got to the end of the path, we would just stop and disperse, leaving anyone watching or participating amused and confused.

This plan didn’t happen. I tried several times to get enough people to help me, but I could not find enough people due to my friends having busy schedules on weekdays. I tried to design routes for less and less people, but I eventually decided that I would have to stage it in class.


I created a new route that only looped around Centennial Commons, and briefly described the premise to the class. I didn’t end up describing or planning it out well enough, which seems to have led to confusion during the walk. Regardless, it seemed to start out okay.

From what I could tell people noticed, but did not react much. There are usually people hanging around Centennial working on homework or meeting with friends, and I expected them to watch us while walking or perhaps even join in. Unfortunately it was a rather cold day and there was nobody hanging out in the Commons, only people passing through. I hope that the people who noticed questioned what was going on and thought it was interesting, but I’ll never know.

I also feel like I may have overestimated the ability of a large line of people to stay in step with each other, though it was hard to tell from the front of the line. To me it’s easy to follow people in step, but I was in a marching band for four years. I’ve had plenty of practice. If I were to do this again, I’d make sure all of the participants had practiced before starting.

Other Notes

I’ve begun to notice a pattern with a lot of my own art. I feel like I’m obsessed with trying to get people to notice the details in the world around them. I have no way of knowing how other people think or feel, but it seems to me that a lot of people don’t take the time to notice the world around them and appreciate it.

I want to make people happy. I’m not sure how to classify my views on purpose and life, but I’ve thought a lot about why I exist. I don’t have any profound wisdom on the subject, and I’ve never taken a philosophy class in my life, but thinking about this stuff has led me to develop an outlook on life that makes me feel content in my place in the universe. By the time I leave this world, I want to have left a net increase of happiness from my existence.

I like to think of myself as a happy person. Most of the time I am. I like to smile, I like to see friends, I like to play games. I want to share that feeling of happiness and contentment with others, but I don’t know the best way to do that. Taking time to appreciate the complexities of the world is how I find my happiness, so I think that’s why I keep making projects that try to get people to notice the world around them more; to notice the things that I do.

Every aspect of a building was decided by someone. Not all decisions were made by the same person, but everything was decided by someone at some point. Some designer decided a building should have a brick wall, and some builder decided to put one specific brick where it is for some reason or another. It might have been the first one in the pile, it could have just felt right for them to put it there; I’ll never know.

To me, the existence that we experience is a result of this incredible clockwork of reality, and it’s beautiful and comforting. It makes me happy to think about what led to a leaf falling in to exactly where it lands, why my desk is exactly 107 centimeters wide, and how the stitching holding a shoe together is designed for that specific task. The world and all of the coincidences and decisions and processes and accidents that have led to this exact moment are beautiful and overwhelming, and I just want to share that with people.

Maybe all of this sounds like pretentious garbage, I don’t know.

Like several of my other projects, I want to try to get people who notice it to question what is happening. I want people to stop and appreciate the moment, with a dozen people randomly walking in step. I want people to talk about things that they notice with others.

I just want to make people happy.

I’m not sure if I managed to do that with this project.

Intervention: Silent Race

What is needed:

  1. First 3 floors of the library
  2. 3-piece token
  3. Timer

How to play:

The objective of the game is to find the 3 token pieces and complete the puzzle. Each of the token pieces has been given to random strangers on each floor of the library. You will need to retrieve these pieces from these strangers by asking around and saying a secret passcode. The library is structured so that the first floor is an open work space with no noise restrictions and the third floor is a silent floor so the difficulty increases as you move up the levels. The goal is to complete the puzzle in the fastest time.  In my play test, the secret code was “do you have the stuff?” If the stranger has the token he will give you a piece of the puzzle.

The token:


Level 1:

The first floor of the library was the easiest. There was absolutely no distinction between the outside world and the first floor of the library due to the fact that there was no restrictions to noise.


Level 2:

As we progressed to the second floor, you could tell that the social norms in the library started to impact the player as he did not breeze through the level and tried to stay quiet when approaching people asking about the passcode.


Level 3:

The third floor was the hardest. Everyone on the third floor was quiet and the player did not want to continue. But after much deliberation he continued with the game when I told him that I will go around the floor with him.


Authors Note:

I was inspired by the in-class discussion and movie about “The Jejune Institute” where much of the game depended on the environment and immersing players into the world, burring the notions of reality. As the players get more involved with the environment the game becomes a reality for them as they are fully immersed in the environment. I wanted to flip this idea and push the boundaries of how social norms in an environment will effect players playing a game. Ultimately I found out that when you, as a player, do not care about anything, especially about how others view you, then you become invincible and this game will be a breeze. For more self-conscious players social norms it becomes incredibly difficult to break social norms. When we got to the third floor, the player did not want to approach students that had headphones on and ask them the passcode because it was not normal. Overall this game pushed the limits of what a game could be transformed to in the context of another environment. If I just played this game in Curry it would be a totally different game because of the social norms in the environment.


Intervention: River Race BR

River Race BR


  1. You must head directly to the starting bridge
  2. The race begins immediately upon crossing the designated bridge
  3. Starting location is determined by spawn point on the northern or southern hemisphere
  4. Survive to the finish line

Course Map:

Starting Point: Circle

Finish Line: Arrow

Finish Lines:

North Course – Western most edge of adjacent town

South Course – Anywhere inside the house on Loot Lake’s centre island

Artist’s Statement:

The videos posted below will explain River Race BR (RRBR) in detail, show examples of gameplay, and, most importantly, demonstrate the result of the experience in terms of the original concept, Fortnite’s Battle Royale (FNBR). The following essay specifically addresses the ethical question behind participation in RRBR within another ongoing competition, and explicitly states the parallel themes shown in both River Race and FNBR.

In its truest form, River Race questionsthe current meta in FNBR. As shown in the footage below, despite running the course, players can still win the game. The players with higher win percentages generally aim to hit the ground as soon as possible, and usually in a region densely populated with loot, and, therefore, other players. RRBR forces players to a pre designated location, diverting the player’s focus from reaching the ground with speed, to overall flight mechanics. Whenever possible, the player would prefer to fly over the starting bridge in an attempt to cover as much ground as possible (gliding is faster than running) before traveling on foot. Unlucky spawns combined with poor flight could force a player to run to the starting bridge, significantly decreasing chances of survival.

Next, RRBR is not loot-oriented, but rather focuses on positioning. Successfully completing either course amidst the ongoing brawl forces players to use the same decision-making process involved in the original game, but with minimalequipment and resources at their disposal. In the first gameplay video featuring player Alteredskull, we successfully finish the River Race, survive the storm, and eliminate a set of opponents using only a common shotgun and farmed wood. In both the introduction/north course and south course videos, I successfully utilize my modest equipment to reap bountiful rewards worth entire cities. This begs the question of whether it is actually worth seizing control of even just a portion of a city, and implores you to consider the power of your position on the map over the strength of your arsenal.

In short, Fortnite BR is filled with distractors that steer players off the most direct path to victory. My River Race forces players into a disadvantageous position that teaches you the important concepts related to the sole objective of both games, survival. Completing the course is in itself a challenge, but, on occasion, your team has the opportunity to reinstate itself into the original game. This requires adept use of resources and map knowledge, inspired by situations seemingly unique (or at least more likely to occur) after a River Race.

Some may question the ethics behind RRBR, questioning the impact on the rest of the game. Simply assuming two out of 100 players would have minimal impact fails to subvert the ethical question; instead, I will argue that our participation enhances the overall player experience, adding to the dynamic rather than limiting it, and subverting the original context, not destroying it.

First, there are numerous victories in which I, my duo, or the both of us survive the River Race, and go on to place in the top 5 of FNBR. It could be argued that our success is primarily due to our lack of participation; however, each placement in the top 5 came with at least two kills (elimination of another squad), and there are many players actively trying to win that implore a safer, noncombatant approach to aid their survival through to the endgame conflict.

Moreover, the race does not necessarily eliminate participation in the original game. RRBR puts players on a unique path that is minimal in loot, but ends at one of the most densely gear-populated areas on the map. In theory, RRBR is a handicapped opening to FNBR that has players arrive late to a high-action area. Instead of dropping into and competing over loot locations, RRBR players are delayed, such that they typically play at the extremes; in the circle, directly in the heart of conflict, or constantly chasing the circle, amidst the storm and frantic players.

Both situations result in playerinteractions not unlike the original concept; in short, RRBR could be interpreted as a strategy, albeit a low percentage one, and therefore does not hinder the experience of other players. The documented footage demonstrates unique interactions and combat experiences that one could argue enhances player experience, adding an entirely new dynamic to the game: a squad of poorly geared players that arrive at the circle from unorthodox, unexpected directions, dependent on superior positioning and map awareness to win. Lacking the equipment to outgun opponents, we rely on outwitting them, and feel even more satisfaction when we succeed.

RRBR has changed the way my friends and I approach the game. It demonstrates the value of in-game mechanics outside of aiming and shooting, develops player decision-making, and forces you to make use of the full potential of your limited resources. Despite never winning FNBR after successfully completing a River Race, what nobody realized was that I, my duo, or both, had already won.

Introduction and Southern Course:

Northern Course:

Matchmade River Race:

Duo Gameplay:



Intervention: Learning of Legends

League of Legends is a very competitive game that used to revolve around creativity and fun. The competitive aspect often breeds much toxicity, My intervention initially went through multiple phases. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to use a website called “Ultimate Bravery” (a website that randomizes the items you should buy, as well as what skill to make more powerful first, along with a  random character) and I wanted to see if I was able to build a playstyle around it, where I could take it. I wanted to see if I could affect the game itself through a rather awkward build that may or may not work. I realized, though, after doing THIS:


It was not going to work. I was too inexperienced as a player to be able to adapt to such randomness in a build. Also, it was not fun. I then realized that League is SUPPOSED to be fun. This made me decide I wanted to do something in ranked (because ranked usually isn’t fun). So, with some suggestions from a friend, I decided that, instead of intervening with a random build into a normal game to test my capabilities of making it work, I decided that I would instead intervene into ranked. Ranked is essentially the place where serious people go to play, to test their skills against others. What I would have done normally would be very detrimental to other, but this is the pre-season, aka before the actual season where ranked counts immensely.

I had a friend help me out, and we essentially swapped roles. Before the game, we had to teach to each other how to play our respective roles/champions. I played jungle and he played ADC. I sometimes play jungle, but I almost never play Shaco, one of his favorite champs. So he gave me a detailed explanation of what I should, what to build, what runes to take, and then we played. I did the same with him. I actually only followed half of what he said, because I wanted to let my creativity to flow a little. The reason I consider this is an intervention is because ranked is a place where you take your experienced champions and playstyles to put them up against others. What we are doing directly refuting this because we are taking our unexperienced champions and pitting them against others. It did not go well at first, as seen by the next image:

After the next few games, though, I eventually got the hang of it.

But even while playing, my friend was constantly giving me tips on where to go, what I should be focusing on, etc. The goal of this intervention was to show the ranked mentality that could be screwed up (please never do this during the actual season).  I was also not expecting that last score. Way higher than I initially expected. I wanted to test how my learning and adapting skills faired against those either experience.


My inspiration was taken from the Jejune Institute and video games. One aspect of what the Institute did was is that it essentially tried to take the seriousness and turn some of it into an enjoyable fairy tale, and also how they had to learn and adapt to everything on the fly.  I wanted to do the same with League, especially the Ranked aspect, where most of the toxicity and hate resides. By having a person learn a champion on the fly, it allows a lot more creativity as well as the partner giving some direction on where to direct that creativity.  But please do not do this in ranked during the season. You will most likely get banned.

I also took the ideas of intervening in the serious aspect of the video game, similar to the man who intervened in the game created by the military to recruit soldiers where he wrote the names of soldiers who died in the war. Mine was supposed to be the opposite where you can have more fun while learning on the fly in a serious environment than adding serious content to a “fun” environment.