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 •  Developer: Social Emotional Technology Lab @ UC Santa Cruz
 •  Year(s) Shown: 2017
 •  Platform: alternate control / physical game
 •  Website:
About Social Emotional Technology Lab @ UC Santa Cruz

- Katherine Isbister, Producer and Research Director
- Elena Márquez Segura, Design and Research Lead
- Jared Pettitt, Lead Game Technologist, Design, Staging and Playtesting, Video Production
- Edward Melcer, Research, Game Technologist, Design, Staging and Playtesting
- James Fey, Game Technologist, Design, Staging and Playtesting
- Samvid Niravbhai Jhaveri, Game Technologist, Staging and Playtesting
Developer's Artistic Statement

Often local multi-player games put players’ attention on the screen, rather than on each other or the world around them. SceneSampler is meant to invite players deeper into the festival scene, giving them a pretext for scouting out different social situations around them. It’s also designed to capture bits and pieces of the social atmosphere of the festival in a different way than roving photographers or photos of friends. The general ethos of our team is finding ways to deepen and augment everyday social connection and pleasure using games and playful technologies. Ideally, SceneSampler gets people deeper into the social experience of a festival --having more fun, encountering people they wouldn’t otherwise, and feeling more a part of things.

SceneSampler is a title featured at IndieCade 2017.

About SceneSampler

SceneSampler is a collaborative game for two. The game invites people to move through the festival in ways that they wouldn't otherwise, and captures traces that give a feel for the flavor of the experience of the 'scene' over time. Each player gets a tech-enabled prop: one wears a 'camera' with an embedded tablet and the other carries a sound 'sampler' built using Adafruit components. Players get collection challenges—e.g. find a silent crowd—that require them to collaborate to fill up the sampler with the ambient noise at the scene, and to take a snapshot of the scene itself. Then, they return to home base to share what they found with a human game master. Successful samples are marked on a map of the festival’s space with a sticker for that particular challenge. Over time, the map builds up a layer of stickers, visualizing a meaningful social soundscape of the festival. Images taken are also uploaded onto social media for interested festival goers to see the locations of various social sounds. Players can take on as many challenges as they like, and when they're done, can pose for a group picture with a placard showing their accomplishments, which also goes into the social media stream. SceneSampler gives players a fun reason to move together through the social space, that also captures interesting traces of the sociospatial scene of the festival.