For the first time in Geekadelphia Kickstarter history, I can honestly say I’m not exactly sure what this week’s project is. It’s not that Sarah Elger and the rest of the team behind Psedonym don’t do a good job of explaining it, it’s just that the mindbending video game / performance art / interactive theater piece is, well, tough to wrap your head around. To hear them tell it, though, that’s exactly the way it should be…
This game is about manipulation, trust, and a completely new game experience. The physical space will be like a movie set, full detail. You will be the main character in your own movie, however you choose to play. What we propose can be described as a living video game, or as interactive theater. In reality it’s rather difficult to describe because it hasn’t been done before to the best of our knowledge.
The physical space will be located in Philadelphia. However, as soon as you enter its walls, you will be transported to Barcelona, 1940s. This is where your story begins. This is where you team up with virtual/physical counterpart. Inside this space, three types of people will interact; the Actors, the Hearts, and the Minds.
The Actors are described as a video game’s Non Player Character, or a theater’s actors. They will act out scenes, answer questions and progress the storyline for the audience. They are the living beings in our warehouse universe and that is the life they know.
The Hearts are those players who will join us at the warehouse. You are essentially an avatar within your own game, or the lead character in your own story. As you begin you are given your role and your life is described to you. It is then up to you to dive in and explore the world. You must search through the different rooms built within the space, talk with the actors, and learn the truth about your life and your world then decide what to do about it. Think it sounds too simple to release a crowd of people into a room and have them all do the same thing at once? That’s because it is. At least it would be if we didn’t already think of that. That’s why each member of the audience will have their own character with their own storyline and their own goals. To put it simply; you’re someone, something is happening, and somebody is evil. Did I mention the rooms move? If this sounds confusing, it’s supposed to be. That’s where the second audience comes in.
The Minds are virtual players. They can be sitting anywhere in the world, all you need are some communication tools, like a computer and internet, and you’re in. As a Mind, you will be paired with a Heart. It is your job to guide them as a gamer guides an avatar. Sure you can choose to just mess with them and instruct them to grind in some basic task for hours, but then they will just ignore you, so you might as well help out. You are the eyes, you will see the map of the universe and the goals of the mission. You will have clues the Hearts will not, and there should even be some scenes with the actors that only you get to see. Don’t worry you will also see exactly where the Hearts go with the help of some tracking tools.
Actors, Hearts, Minds. Movable rooms. Geolocation and tracking tools. 1940’s Barcelona. Got all that? Part Sleep No More, part Cube, part Gamer. Quite the production, and definitely an interesting project. The team has a pretty significant goal to reach, but all of the technology and fabrication requirements are spelled out in the Kickstarter post, and the team has already secured some in-kind sponsorships from the manufacturers involved. Take a look at the video, read through the rest of the description, and consider funding this very unique project.
The Project: Pseudonym
Creator: Sarah Elger
Sweet Spot: $30 gets you the chance to watch one of the performances via cameras hooked up throughout the staging area along with a listing on the website, but you’ll need to pony up $150 or $250 if you want to get in the game as a Mind or Heart, respectively.
Funding Deadline: February 25th, 2013
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