Reflective Statement 2 Excerpts

Revised excerpt from Reflective statement 2:

Electroplankton is an electronic music game⁠. It’s not really a standard game in the way you’re used to. There are no winning conditions or reward / punishment mechanics of any kind. I played it through an emulator and am lucky to be equipped with a touch screen enabled laptop for this. It enabled me to have a similar experience to the one intended, as well as few unintended.

Eventually I was more interested in the main menu, because of the musical aspects of it’s design. The menu has bubble sounds in the background and each mini game selection is followed by a sound which there are 10 of. I started going up and down the menu just to make the notes play. I was doing it with a mouse at first, which I felt was more tactile than using the screen at the time. The hit and click provided a kind of haptic feedback a touch screen didn’t. That in itself generated a noise of plastic hitting plastic which resonated on top of the notes generated by the game plus the sound of the mouse gliding over the table in between notes if I chose to go in the other direction pressing left or right in the UI, a utility noise akin to fingers gliding on guitar strings. Now I had this multi-voice instrument I was playing. Later I realized I could use the keyboard and that made switching level selection much faster. Another type of melody emerged. When reaching the last level item going 1 to 10, the selection would wrap around back to 1. This made a melody go from a high octave down or back up using this feature. Then I started using the touch screen. At this point what I was doing, was pushing the space of that game menu to the limit of it’s functional ability. I immersed in play and extracted the kind of interaction it wasn’t designed to facilitate.

Thinking about this kind of interaction and its performative aspects, a certain relationship aesthetic arises. The particular elements of Electroplankton served as a musical instrument quite literally. The Electroplankton main menu playspace wasn’t designed, it manifested and I exploited it when I decided that it was more interesting than the minigames. I like the subversive nature of such interaction, by pushing systems to their spontaneous and unintended dimensions.