1378(km), through the medium of the computer game, allows for an immersive and interactive journey into sections of the inner-German border in the year 1976. There are two parties in the game, the first being the East German Border Guards, and second being the East German Refugees. The objective of the refugees is to get over the death strip to flee to West Germany. The objective of the border guards is to prevent that refugees cross the border. At first glance the serious game 1378(km) appears to be an ordinary first-person shooter, which is due to the fact that it is based on one. However the modifications made on the first-person shooter for 1378(km) completely change the usual experience of such a game.
Through the personal identification as either an East German Refugee or an East German Border Guard, and growing familiar with the border sections represented in the game, the players will become interested in this part of Germany’s past. The game is addressed mainly to a young generation that grew up with computer games as their defining medium. In this computer game, as opposed to, for example, a documentary film, – I personally have control over my actions and reactions, which take place in real time and in changing situations.
(WELT & ComputerBILD Spiele – 03.10.2013)
The game 1378(km) does not force someone playing as the “border soldiers” to shoot the “refugees”. Players are left with the freedom of choice. The border guard has the ability to arrest refugees without the use of violence. They even have the opportunity to be a refugee. You are only able to win the game when you do not shoot. If there are too many deaths, the player gets teleported out of the game to a court yard in the year 2000. Stay there some time and account for his doings before getting back. The rules of the game are inspired by the situation at the former Inner German Border. Border camps, death strips, and orders to shoot are what make the game brutal.
The game has sparked much controversy in Germany over the question of whether a computer game should be allowed to cover this period of recent German history. None of the critics had seen the game, but they had formed an opinion. A Part of the print media reporting was so emitionally charged that the premier had to be postponed in order to contribute to an objective discussion. The German Press Council condemned the reporting of BILD newspaper about the Serious Game 1378(km).
Ride Your Mind (RYM) is a prototype of an interactive, hackish, neurofeedback real-time virtual reality game art installation or, in brief, an artistic and experimental NeuroVR game that forces the user’s conscious to compete with his subconscious.
The aim of RYM is to imbue the player with an awareness of his own brain as a consciously controllable tool comparable, for example, to his hand. It achieves this aim by forcing the player’s conscious acting into competition with his subconscious acting; the player receives direct neuronal feedback showing him his unconscious brain activity, eliciting a whole new sensation of self.
The RYM concept does not ignore the fact that the game experience is a highly intimate one in which personal sensory data is temporarily stored and processed. If the user does allow the data collected to be stored or even anonymously shared, it can be interpreted by medical experts and thereby serve as a contribution to cognitive neurological research. Running a game generated by neurological data in real time requires knowledge gleaned from medical research. In other words, the game itself entails a recontextualisation of medical knowledge into a gaming and art context. Just as hackers transformed military devices into entertainment devices, RYM uses knowledge and devices from the medical world to create an artistic and experimental form of entertainment.
This artistic virtual reality game generated by neurofeedback using an Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) to display a playable stereoscopic 3D visualisation of neurological signals collected by an Emotiv EEG Brain Computer Interface (BCI). The data will be processed using Unity3D, a 3D game engine software and interface manager well-suited for the desired playable data visualisation.
The installation based game shade can be controlled by the movement of the head. In a virtual world the user can look around only by moving his head. He is navigating with a gamepad on three projection screens. The stereoscopic 3D panorama projection starts a short immerive journey into an unknown world. This world is only defined by shadow and light. Additional stage lights illuminate the real world and generate an extended virtual reality.
The simulation is rendered in real-time by using a SLI computer system, CryEngine3, nVidia 3D-Vision, three 3D beamers, a head-tracker and directly controlled stage lights through CryEngine. shade is the degree work of Jens M. Stober at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe.
ZKM_Gameplay – The Game Platform at the ZKM Karlsruhe presents the series of VOID by Jens M. Stober, Doctoral Researcher at RMIT University’s GEElab. Starting from an endless void the artist performs an experimental and playful investigation of the Oculus Rift. The New York Times labeled this virtual reality head-mounted display (Oculus Rift) as the most advanced immersive entertainment on the horizon now. VOID.1 and VOID.2 are the first two artworks of the series. Freestanding the users can control and experience the experimental and playful virtual reality application through their head movement.
Decoration Shooter (Schmück-Shooter) is a 3rd-person-christmas-shooter mini-game. As Santa Claus you have the mission to decorate disgruntled Christmas-trees. Christmas tree balls and gifts can be fired. Only if the moving trees are decorated enough they are happy and stop to follow Santa Claus. The mini-game was created by Jens M. Stober and Jan Cordes using UNITY3D. Interesting side issue: the trees in the game have just 1378 polygons!
Produced by Martina Brandmayr, Jens M. Stober, Georg Hobmeier, Tobias Hammerle, Sonja Prlic und Karl Zechenter.
Frontiers leads its players to European border zones. As a refugee or border patrol you’ll get to know the border and the life behind it from both sides – in the Sahara, Iraq, the woods of Slovakia and Ukraine and the beaches in southern Spain. The game portrays two major migration itineraries, from the Far East and Africa respectively to Europe. The players face up to three border situations on each route. They can initially decide between the roles of refugees or varied authorities.
The computer game has become – as it is most visible in Frontiers – a means to active individual participation. The game creates a virtual model of an actual geographic and political landscape, which is open for discussion and more so it is open for an attempt to change it exemplarily by individual contributions of the players/modders. Frontiers presents an immersive and interactive glimpse on the reality of migrants and refugees. “You have to change the information”, states the nun Paula Dominges, one of the last persons that takes care of refugees in the enclave Ceuta. Frontiers is based on a series of international field trips and interviews with border guards, refugees, aid workers and activists.
In 2007 goldextra started the research at the European border zones – in Ceuta and Ukraine -, in 2010 Frontiers has been presented at ZKM Karlsruhe. The most important fact though: Since the initial release the game has been downloaded nearly 45.000 times, has been played on pur servers and discussed in forums of the gaming community, universities and refugee camps.