Despite how it may appear, this little cube is a video game. Obviously, it doesn’t look anything like the typical Tetris, Mario or Pong you are accustomed to; however, that’s the point.
New York-based Maker and avid Arduino user Ishac Bertran has transformed classic games into an abstract cube. The catch? Players can only make one move a day. The little button at the top of the box acts as the controller, while the little white dots serve your avatar and the world in which it functions. For those that require left and right movement, there’s toggle switch for that.
The concept behind the project, aptly dubbed Slow Games, was to take ordinarily fast-moving activities and mod them into a contemplative experience. “By reducing the feedback loop to a frequency of a day, the games take a new perspective and the skills required to make progress are radically different. While traditional video games require good eye-hand coordination and concentration, Slow Games challenge our memory, capacity of observation and patience.”
Slow Games are ambient video game consoles, meant to blend into the home environment. While a fair share of of video games are developed to trigger instant gratification, this uniquely designed platform experiments with “low pace, long lasting game plays, and explores game mechanics that keep players engaged throughout weeks of play with simple rule variations.”
Take the slowed-down version of Pong, for example. While the ball begins moving at a speed of one, it eventually will increase its speed by a single unit every time the ball hits the paddle. Reason being, after a few days into the game, the player must use logic to predict the path of the ball which will bounce multiple times in one move (one day), requiring the player to set the paddle in a specific position in order to cover all the hit spots.
As you can imagine, the delay before a next move may become increasingly frustrating and downright irksome. In fact, you may spend a couple of weeks on a single game, a drastic variance from today’s cram sessions.