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Old forum comments

(The Ludocity website previously had integrated forums, but they fell into spam-covered decline and were shut down in 2015. The comments in this section have been automatically converted from that forum.)

Hello everyone. My name is Dave. I am the new intern at ‘Hide and Seek’ I think I met many of the contributors to this forum at the sandpit on Sunday so hello again. A little bit about myself – I am a video artist who, amongst other things is interested in using video cameras to explore the way people relate to each other through looking. I am interested in the gaze of the camera and the way people modify their behaviour in its presence.

The idea for what is now called Glom started with an obsession with candid footage and a now seemingly naïve conviction that the only way to get ‘authentic’ footage of people was to film them in secret. This presented me with a problem. How was I going to get this footage without running into all types of ethical boundaries? After a while I came to the conclusion that it would be OK to film people without their knowledge as long as those people were allowed to do the same to me. I talked to a friend about this idea and after a short meeting we came to the agreement that I would be aloud to film him at any moment day or night without his knowledge and he would be allowed to do the same to me. After doing this for a number of days and seeing how fun it was it seemed foolish to keep the agreement between two people so we extended the invitation and ‘The Game’ (very imaginative I know) was born.

I am aware of the fact that having no winner means that this is probably, technically not a game (though someone maybe able to correct me on this?) This being so the atmosphere of play was always at the heart of the experience so it ended up being called ‘The Game’ by default.

‘The Game’ was played towards the end of the first year of my degree at Sheffield Hallam University. It is a project that I have always wanted to return to but have struggled with a way to make it work outside the specific context of a university campus. i.e. an environment where the players are in close proximity to each other, have a lot of dispensable time and can discover with relative ease the location of their opponents.

Part way through playing the game it became evident that many of the most exiting aspects of the experience were missing from the player’s footage. As with many pervasive games that use video cameras the footage that the players produced seemed to be more of a bi-product of the play rather than something valuable in and of itself. All the manipulative behaviour that went into making the footage was lost. This is an issue I would like to address should the game be played again.

As I mentioned earlier this is a project that I have always wanted to return to. My recent involvement with hide and seek has re-ignited the flame. I would be interested to hear what people make of this idea and if they have any suggestions on how the project could be moved forward. Thanks.

Dave --davegreen (talk) 2009-06-16 23:05:43

Oh man, I wish I hadn't posted a surveillance-themed game yesterday as it looks a bit feeble compared to this. This is brilliant. --benhenley (talk) 2009-06-17 09:20:01

This is truly awesome. It sort of reminds of the great film called 'The Truman Show', in which a man lives his life in a specially built town, not knowing that he is part of a 'reality' TV show, and that everyone except for him are actors. It's very clever and well done. Like your game. --Peads (talk) 2009-06-17 20:56:43

Authentic footage

Hey, I like the idea but I'm interesed that you think you were producing truely authentic footage - didn't you find you modified your behaviour slightly because you know you might be on camera??

I went to an interesting talk by a TV producer a while ago who was discussing something similar - he went as far as suggesting that the outcome of an awards ceremony that featurered in a documentary he made was altered by the fact the film crew were going to be there.... they'd been filming with this group of people for months so you would have expected thm (the filmees) to be totally natural by then but he still thoght he influenced the outcome.

Thinking about it too deeply, don't we also alter our behaviour in space where we MIGHT be filmed by a security camera, even if it the footage is never likely to be viewed and the camera may even not record what it sees?? I know I sometimes do, and I'm sure part of the deterrant must be this sub/conscious effect.

I'd be interested to know your thoughts. --Apolobamba (talk) 2009-06-22 12:59:22

Hi, Sorry for the delayed reply. The idea for Glom came from an interest in candid footage and the compelling experience of watching people on film who are not aware that they are being recorded. At the time I believed the behavior of people in such footage to represent some sort of authenticity due its ‘unperformed’ quality. I have since decided that calling such footage authentic is somewhat limiting.

The point you raised about the threat of surveillance altering peoples behavior certainly applies to Glom, an obvious example of this being in the documentary when a player talks about turning off the wrong road in his car in the belief that he was being followed.

The players certainly did alter their behavior, I don’t think this necessarily takes away from the unperformed quality of the footage. The players were simply performing the roles of individuals under the threat of surveillance.

If, as you say we alter our behavior in public spaces due to the possible threat of surveillance then there are very few occasions when our behaviour remains unaffected.

I think what is interesting about Glom is taking this possible threat and turning it into something playful. Unlike surveillance from CCTV were the state has all the power the power balance in Glom is constantly shifting, the observers are also the observed. --davegreen (talk) 2009-06-30 21:36:41

Good to see this break out into new realms.

I was one of the original players with Dave, and for me, one of the most interesting aspects of Glom was how the intensity progressed as time went on. People were followed home and there were instances of people waiting for hours just to get some footage.

I think it's all about how far you want to push it, and how far you are willing to go with it too, all good fun though

Andy --Squid (talk) 2009-07-04 19:02:26

I'm not sure if many actually alter there behavior when there is the chance of being monitored by security cameras... As a person that doesn't film much, I can say that I primarily alter my behavior simply because I'm out in public. --BigBur (talk) 2009-07-14 19:19:47


Two of us have begun a game of Glum, and have opened up invitation to others in Boise, Idaho. Details at . Already I must say, this game is diabolically brilliant. In less than 24 hours I have altered my behavior in ways I did not anticipate, and have begun to question other people in ways that some of them have found downright bizarre. The other player at the moment is, much to my chagrin, a magician with a particular like for costumes and disguises, and I find that very stressful! --Zefareu (talk) 2010-09-06 06:11:50

Great to see you guys playing this over in the US. I love the fact you are branching out and using disguises too. You've got some tough competition there, playing against a magician! Will be interesting to see how the game progresses. Keep us posted. --davegreen (talk) 2010-09-06 11:16:25