Michael Cook made a “needlessly interactive” playable call for papers for the Experimental AI in Games conference, taking place in October in Raleigh, NC. It’s a minimally expressive Twine story, with really one simple interactive experience of role-playing the interaction a recipient feels upon receiving yet another CFP email, click.
It’s a tricky thing to get right. While it makes sense for a game-related conference to have a text adventure announcement, I don’t want to have to play a game of Frogger to purchase movie tickets from the automated kiosk at the movie theater. It would be nice if the playable CFP included prominent and consistent links to exit the game, in order to read the ordinary CFP on the conference website.
I believe the motivating idea is sound. Turning banal daily routine into a playful interactive experience is a worthy goal for game design. It has the ability to startle the player into paying more attention to mundane activities, which I think is the intended goal—for a CFP to stand out from piles of other CFP emails.
Let me know if you’ve come across games in strange places. I don’t mean finding a boxed copy of Mario Kart at the flea market—I mean conceptually strange places. Hit me up on twitter if you’ve got ideas like this to discuss, because I think this approach of creating small play experiences to “gamify” mundane tasks is an emerging theme of design.