Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Experimenting with atmosphir

I created a game level on www.atmosphir.com and I called it "Cake marathon". Atmosphir is a game design platform that allows users to create their own game levels and share them with the online community. I find the particular kind of media to be a wonderful tool for creative expression. Designers (users) can create whatever they want, can provide whatever experiences they like and design different difficulty features for their audiences. Creativity is for me a major characteristic of good digital media. The affordances of the particular medium fascinated me because I could manipulate everything in ways that other media had not afforded so far. For example, I could easily lay out the blocks with just one click or by dragging my cursor around the grid. I could easily add and remove objects, an action that would be difficult to obtain unless someone had advanced programming skills.

Screenshot from my cake marathon. Click on it to access and play the game (also at: http://www.atmosphir.com/level/show?id=420532)

For my example, I created a level through which players must jump across several cake pieces, cookies, orange and kiwi slices, as well as a candy bridge in order to reach the final flag. It seems very easy, but when I tested it, even I had trouble getting across! I think the role of the arts and creativity is major in media for the 21st Century. It is not only colors and graphics that make digital media so much better and attractive, but also the opportunities for expression they provide. Creativity in the particular context does not mean colors and graphics, indeed. Creativity seems to be measured through the difficulty levels and the designed experiences users come up with. I find this to be a very powerful property because it comes to redefine the ways we perceive creativity in online spaces.