Artwork 4: Proversation


By Anthony Fanticola

This work intended to abstract the experience of attempting to bond with someone through conversation. This is a board game meant to simulate a conversation between two people in time. It is two player and the players work together to win. I drew out three elements of talking to someone and focused on representing them through the  main mechanics. The first quality I represented is a conversations presence through time, and how something said can not be taken back. I used a 4X6 grid where the tiles must advance towards each other every turn in order to incorporate time. Different sections of the grid mark different phases of a conversation. Each player then generates their ‘ideas’ which is composed of four tiles in the four lanes on the far ends of the board. There are three types of tiles, pink, blue and yellow, each represent a distilled version of the types of things you can say in a conversation. The phases of a conversation are broken up into sections: the partners conceiving their ideas, sharing/saying the ideas, then having the ideas interact with each other.

The first section the tiles are placed face down to represent how in a conversation you don’t know what the person is thinking. When the tiles move to the second section they are revealed which represents talking in the conversation. When all these tiles match up perfectly in this phase, the partners have found a similarity and have won. If the tiles don’t all match they move into the last phase, located in the center eight spaces, where they interact and the dominate qualities (tiles) of the ideas stay in their final row and become awkwardness/the mood of the conversation. Each players tiles never advance over the center of the board. These tiles interact with a rock paper scissors mechanic across the center line that determines the dominance: which tile gets to stay in their center row. Jokes (Yellow) beat facts (blue), Facts (Blue) beat complements (Pink), Complements (Pink) beat Jokes (Yellow). If the tiles are the same, the tile that approached stays; if they arrived at the same time they are canceled out.

The drive to create a game like this comes from wondering what people are thinking during conversations and how they are interpreting what I am saying. I am often drawn to comedy because if I can make someone laugh I know for sure where there mind is at that moment. I feel a rush when discovering similarities with other people and on the contrary to some degree I am terrified of saying something or delivering an idea that causes awkwardness or dissimilarity. My goal with this work was to simulate the experience of talking to someone with the goal of bonding with someone by finding commonalities. The win state was obviously inspired by Mastermind, a childhood game of mine, and describes the state of mental similarity I am trying to simulate with great accuracy.

Originally i was not going to suggest what the colors represented but I found that players engaged with the peace more when they are slightly prompted by something like “yellow means joke’” and from that slight push I overheard players coming up with slight narratives to what might be going on in the conversation. The hyper abstract representation of a conversation between two people is definitely takes notes from of the abstraction within Rod Humbles “The Marriage.” In The Marriage the player, “imagines what the outside influences might be, and hazards guesses at what dark forces are represented by the circles.” In the game players are left to interpret what the reactions between certain shapes mean, and if it weren’t for the title it would probably not be understood as a representation of marriage. This player-generated narrative behind how shapes and colors interact is found in Proversation when the players were left to interpret what colored tile combinations meant when composing their ‘ideas’ and instinctively building a narrative around the interactions between certain types of tiles being dominated/eliminated by others.


The game went through many iterations in order to achieve a balance where the game was not to easy or impossible. The main rule that I had to experiment with a lot which seemed to determine the difficulty level is when to play the tiles face down or face up. The first iteration was all face down, the second all face up. During these trials the main win-state was also to survive the whole deck without building up too much awkwardness with the rare super win state where the players played the same cards. Also, awkwardness existed when a players card crossed a line on the other side of the board and counted against the players, too much awk and they loose. Then I began to focus the game more around the rare win-state of a perfect match. I began to balance when the cards would be revealed in the sections of the board then made a boundary that the cards couldn’t cross (eliminating the awkwardness building mechanic). The game now ends when the deck runs out. There are eight of each color type in each persons tile deck.

Intervention: Lifting Up Spirits

Intervention: Lifting Up Spirits

(lol because elevators are called lifts)  

Artist Statement:

I created Lifting Up Spirits because i beloved the elevator is a great petri dish of awkwardness and mundanity to produce interesting social interventions.

This piece draws influence from my personal life and interventions we examined in class (and on my personal time) of causing a public disturbance in a playful manner. I take a less obstructive approach to intervening because I felt it would be rude to interfere with people/students schedules. Instead my piece passively engages with the awkward tension in an elevator.

In my own life, because sometimes I do strange things to spice up someone’s life with a little fluxus/micro-happening. For example when I am walking by the communal bathroom door where I live, ill pop my head in and make a strange noise like an alien bird call or a fart sound, then continue down the hallway.

The other veins of inspiration I pulled from were less extreme than the works found in On Edge, and more geared towards the playfulness in the pieces by improv everywhere. I was hoping for people to become apart of the piece by participating in the game rather than marinating in the awkwardness. The other aria I drew inspiration was the 1962 psychology experiment in conformity Elevator Groupthink. Mostly because this was the only work done in an elevator that came to mind.

Combining my desire to inject strange moments into people’s lives and the interventions I’ve learned about, I wanted to encourage other people to make those same odd decisions by participating in a game in the elevator.

The most common effect my intervention had on the “players” (aka anyone who enters the elevator) was an odd (almost disgusted look) at the instructions. Most people stared at it during their ride, often glancing up at the paper like it was looking at them. The second VERY RARE response was actual participation. This usually arose when people came into the elevator as friends or sometimes questioned me about what was taking place in the elevator. The last reaction was the person just didn’t witness the paper and continued with their lives. One instance i was able to enter the elevator while someone was already inside and participate without seeming suspicious. I made the fart sound with my mouth because it was a personal favorite. The persons reaction was silent but there facial expiration could be described in the words “not to shabby..”.



Iteration 1 (I tried to keep it simple and easy to process)




Say Hi/Hello = 5

Complement = 10 points

Question =15 points


Iteration 2 (I added two sections in case people wanted to participate solo or they were alone in the lift)



Group Points


Say Hi/Hello = 5


High Five = 10


Everyone Hold Hands = 15


Everyone = 15


Solo Points 


Snap your fingers = 5


Clap your hands = 5


Stand on one foot = 10


Dance = 20


Iteration 3 (eliminated the words “Solo Points and Group Points” because they weren’t necessary and i decided the sections with lines)




Say Hi/Hello = 5


High Five Someone = 10


Everyone Hold Hands = 15



Clap or Snap with your hands = 5


Stand on one foot = 10


Make a fart sound = 15


Dance = 20


[untested Iteration 4]

Print out an outline of a hand and above it reads “SLAP FOR GOOD LUCK”

I believe this iteration takes a lot of the social pressure away and i would sit in the elevator and slap it during the ride to encourage people to participate.


This is how the piece looked when the doors were closed.

Here are people not participating and just observing/being intervened.

Girl looks

Girl looks 2

Girl looks 3

Guy looks

Here are people becoming apart of the intervention.

People participate

participatioon guy

Guy participates 2

Girls participate

Indie game S&T: Samorost 3


I chose the game Samorost 3, a point and click puzzle adventure where the player interacts with a detailed and immersive world through the curious character Gnome. Gnome is equipped with a musical tool that allowed him to activate spirit like entities that inhabit objects in the environment. This game succeeds in many ways at knowing what type of game it wants to be, which is an immersive journey, and focusing on that in every way. The player engages with the game through discovery and solving puzzles in order to progress. The difficulty of the puzzles is balanced and relatively easy which has a positive impact by letting the player be equally as engaged in the challenge of a puzzle and the experience of solving a puzzle while existing in a new world. The art process utilizes a wide variety of digital painting and image manipulation (of things like horse hair and rocks) to create beautiful realistic outlandish visuals. The mastery and complexity in visuals is also matched with an beautiful soundtrack that mixes tribal tonnes, rich nature sounds, and an almost metallic biological noises at some parts. Headphones are a must.

I chose this game because of my personal affinity and it’s a strong example of how art intersects with games. In game art, as talked about in the readings, “challenge is often found in the unconventional themes and there mechanics to explore them” (Works of Game : On the Aesthetics of Games and Art). In In my opinion this game exists strongly in the space of art because of its ability to present challenge in the context of its unconventional visuals and mechanics.

Not so Hungry Not so Hungry Hippos

Artist Statement: Not so Hungry Not so Hungry Hippos

This works intention was to appropriate a childhood game and incorporate adult-life concepts into the gameplay. The childhood game modified for this project was Hungry Hungry Hippos and the concept from adult life was dietary restrictions. I represented prominent symptoms of four human dietary issues through the certain penalties players receive when consuming colored pills. For instance, lactose intolerance is known to cause diarrhea/flatulence, this is represented by the player disposing of half their stomach contents before tallying up points.

I was attempting to change a fast paced game of greed into a slower game of timing a strategy. This was well accomplished after eliminating the hypoglycemic diet. That diet penalty was activated when it did not eat a certain food so it was incentivized to eat more, rather than the other players who were penalized for eating voraciously. Without that intense energy stirring the pills, all the players were more forced to be more cautious when consuming. A strategic element of timing developed which slowed the pace of the game. Players also discovered new ways to manipulate the hippo head. They found stages in its opening depending on how hard you pressed down on the button which they used to help manipulate which pills fell into their mouths.

Balancing the amount and type of pills in play was going to be a main issue to work out. For the first iteration of playlets attempted to work out a decent balance between the pill types by working out percentages and ratios of probability in respect to each hippo. After play testing, slight adjustments were made by one or two units to polish off balance.

My piece Not so Hungry Not so Hungry Hippos comes from the vein of fluxes artists reinventing classic games while weaving in a new narrative or alternate meaning. Yoko Ono’s “Play It By Trust” is a prime example by altering the colors of the classic game Chess to reflect a more serious theme, the pointlessness of war. My piece follows a similar structure by appropriating the classic game of Hungry Hungry Hippos and changing the colors to reflect a new meaning found in adult life.

Appropriation Game: Not so Hungry Not so Hungry Hippos

Game Contents:

  • Game base
  • Four hippo heads and bodies
  • A malleable Clay/Putty substance
  • 43 Marbles
    • 20 Normal Red marbles
    • 23 food marbles
      • 5 Yellow
        • Peanut
      • 5 Pink
        • gluten
      • 6 Black
        • Sugar
      • 6 White
        • Milk
      • 1 Blue
        • Cure-all

How to set up: Start off with all the food units in the eating zone. Fill up each marble release aria with normal (non food) red marbles

How to win: Whoever’s hippo gains the most points after 6 rounds wins.

Rules: Every hippo has a unique dietary restriction. Depending on the diet, the player will receive a penalty upon consuming food units that negatively correlate with their diet. The hippo that collects the one cure-all (blue) marble will not be affected by their diet for that round.

Hippo Diets:


If consumed 3 or more sugar pills in one round, all red pills don’t count

(Symptom: increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination)

Lactose Intolerance

If consumed any milk pills, lose 1/2 of points gained that round

(Symptom: diarrhea, flatulence)

Anaphylaxis Shock

If consumed any peanut pills, pass out for next round

(Symptom: anaphylaxis shock)

Gluten Intolerance

Stick a quantity of putty equal to the size of the pink pills consumed in the stomach of the hippo.

(Symptom: bloating and abdominal pain)

How to play:

Before playing, the players pick dietary issues at random

Once that game begins all the hippos can consume the colored pellets. Once all pellets are consumed, the eating phase ends.

The players then check the contents they have collected. Every pellet counts as a point. Dietary penalties are activated in this phase if a hippo eats a pill that interferes with their diet.

After six rounds the player with the most points wins



Not so Hungry Not so Hungry Hippos underwent 3 iterations. The changes between iterations improved major balance issues and changed the functions of certain diets to bring gameplay closer to a reimagining of Hungry Hungry hippos.

Changes from Iteration 1 to Iteration 2

-Replaced hypoglycemia diet with diabetes diet

-Why: During play-tests, hypoglycemia was at an unfair advantage because it received a penalty for not eating enough sugars. Essentially punished for not eating enough, where the other players were forced to play more cautiously because they can not eat certain things.

-Added 2 more milk and 1 more peanut pill

-Why: To improve balance between the players

-Changed the punishment of anaphylaxis-lips from sticking putty onto the hippos lips too putting putty in the hippo’s stomach.

-Why: The weight of the putty was too much for the hippo eating mechanism to perform effectively, it was too much of a disadvantage.

Changes from Iteration 2 to Iteration 3

-Renamed the ‘anaphylaxis-lips’ diet to ‘gluten intolerance’ and the Strawberry pill to the Gluten pill

-Why: The new rule of putting putty in the stomach of the hippo is more accurate to the sensation of bloating found in gluten intolerant people.



  • The play testing video below depicts usual gameplay.
  • The play testing video below is when the hypoglycemic hippo was passed out for a turn. This reflects the more cautious gameplay I discussed.


Appropriation Show and Tell: A Bad Lip Reading of Catching Fire

I chose the youtube channel Bad Lip Reading to represent my example of appropriation for the class. More specifically, the video “OBSIDIOTS: Live From District 11” — A Bad Lip Reading of Catching Fire” the artist takes this strategy of appropriation and explores the concept to a whole new level. The idea of bad lip reading in its core strips footage of humans talking and dubs new and usually comedic dialog. This specific video pushes the ideas audio and video potential to new heights. From the appropriated footage, Bad Lip Reading produced a full song which the hunger games characters performed through various editing techniques. Clips were repeated and played back and forth discreetly to keep the viewer immersed and the new footage believable. The creators introduced new visual elements, and slight warm color grading, to transform the original melancholy stage to a pop concert. Image 1 shows a side by side of the original footage to the appropriated piece. The notable differences are, the guards were given instruments, a concert banner was hung, and a mic was added for Katniss. These unextravagant changes established a new sense of environment vastly different from the original intention. The creators also brought to life the performance of the main characters by adding new moving body parts which can be seen in Image 2. 

Image 1

Image 2

Artwork #1 Score: Piece of Dirt

Score: Piece of Dirt

Wake up

Scoop soil from the spot you were born 

You will make your mother cry

Assemble the mud, dirty your skin

Take every shower without water drops touching you while singing the ABC’s

Go to sleep

Observe moss growing


Artist Statement:

This piece draws influence from themes of losing innocence and purity from birth. I take an allegorical approach by instructing the reader to gather, make, and sing things in a context that represents this deterioration of innocence. The way I approached forming these instructions derives from my attraction to fiction, which is also why the score is intended to be thought about, and cannot be realistically followed. For instance, depending on how line five is interpreted, one may imagine a superhuman ability to avoid contact with the water drops. When forming this piece I drew inspiration from my own fascination with collecting strange ingredients. Things like dirt/soil from the spot you were born and a significant amount mothers tears is virtually possible to gather, but it is more valuable for the reader interpret what these items represent, in the context of the score.

I attempted to incorporate an element of perpetuation in three ways without explicitly adding an instruction to repeat any part of the list. The first way hints at perpetuation by bookending the main part of the score with “wake up” and “go to sleep”. This can also be interpreted as birth and death since the piece is about losing innocence in life. Then line five adds a strong element of perpetuation by creating a condition in the reader’s life that they must take showers a certain way. They repeat this condition till they die or stop participating. Lastly, the final line suggests that this score is meant to be perpetuated in some way for a long amount of time because it asks you to observe the growth of moss.

The work and ideas of Fluxus artists heavily encouraged the development of my score. I was specifically drawing from the vein of Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit when conceptualizing Piece of Dirt. The title of my work “Piece of Dirt” is also a reference to how Yoko Ono phrased her titles in her collection Grapefruit. Yoko Ono’s piece titled “A Piece for Orchestra” provokes an experience similar to my score because they are both virtually possible, but the beauty is in imagining the execution and pondering the meaning. The importance in my piece lies in producing an idea rather than producing art as a physical product or event. In a broad sense my piece addresses ones presence in time and the corruption of innocence that occurs when humans are affected by time. This focus on relationship with time was one of the key ideas explored in the Fluxus movement.


Piece of Dirt underwent four iterations. The changes between iterations improved the clarity of the instructions while attempting to focus on its message based on the feedback from readers and my own adjustments. With every iteration I improved the piece by combining sentences, eliminating/changing words, and sometimes adding a word while trying to keep the piece concise. I focused on keeping the word count small to preserve a poetic element and insure it’s easy to digest.

-Dirt Piece Iteration 1

Wake up

Take soil from the spot you were born 

Ask mother to cry, or make her

Assemble mud, and dirty your skin 

Take a shower, let no water drops hit you

Take a shower and sing the ABCs

Wait for moss to grow

-Dirt Piece Iteration 2

 Wake up

Take soil from the spot you were born 

You will make your mother cry

(Removed “ask mother to” because it distracts from the piece. Rephrased to give the reader no choice in making mother cry because it resonates better with the theme of losing innocence/purity, in which people cannot avoid encountering)

Assemble mud, and dirty your skin 

Take a shower, let no water drops hit you and sing the ABC’s

(Combined lines five and six because the instructions were confusing having “take a shower” twice)

Wait for moss to grow

-Dirt of Piece Iteration 3

(Changed title to emphasize the play on words “piece of dirt”)

Wake up

Take soil from the spot you were born 

You will make your mother cry

Assemble mud, dirty your skin

(Removed “and” because it wasn’t necessary and the commands being on the same line is enough indication that you should dirty your skin with the mud. If someone did not come to that conclusion then the piece still holds because the dirt is not literal)

Take a shower, let no water drops hit you while singing the ABC’s

(The word “while” replaced “and” because it provides more information that the score wants you to sing the ABCs while not becoming clean)

Wait for moss to grow

-Piece of Dirt Iteration 4

(Changed title to “piece of dirt” because it makes more sense)

Wake up

Scoop soil from the spot you were born

(“scoop” is more descriptive and the word “take” is used in line five)

You will make your mother cry

Assemble the mud, dirty your skin

(“the mud” was added to help indicate the mud comes from mixing tears and dirt)

Take every shower without water drops touching you while singing the ABC’s

(The word “every” was added to make clear this is process is intended to repeat forever) (“touching” replaced “hitting” because it focuses purely on contact)

Go to sleep

(“Go to sleep” was added to try and hint at a cycle because the piece starts with waking up)

Observe moss growing

(Rewrote this line so its purpose is clearer. This line was to indicate that the mud never leaves your skin.)