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simSBRL: An experiment in recreating a research community within a game

SimSBRL was launched August 30 in the Games Research Lab at the Social and Behavioral Research Laboratory in the Gurley Building of downtown Troy, NY. This was a summer project for Chelsea Hash and Katherine Isbister, to test out ideas for an upcoming art installation called SimVeillance: San Jose, to be shown in ISEA 2006 (see the Lab Page for more information about the SimArt project series, an ongoing collaboration between Isbister and Rainey Straus). We wanted to see if we could create reasonable likenesses of people using game tools and custom content, and we wanted to see how the people who were 'simmed' would react.

It's also a project for you! Feel free to download any and all of the sims we created, as well as the re-creation of our lab space itself...

What we learned:

The launch party showed us that folks enjoyed seeing their likenesses and enjoyed wandering the lab and seeing the contrast between what happens in 'real life' and what happens in the context of the game. It's a good thing that 'real' researchers don't start so many office fires!

contact info :
isbisk - at - rpi.edu
hashc - at - rpi.edu