Ron Broglio: being in the world of these alien creatures
TechnoSphere offered us the chance to think about nonhuman worlds and nonhuman worlding. What are the affordances, sensations, ways of being in the world of these alien creatures? Or more personally as a player: how will my little creature get along in this world?
“Creating a creature meant that every so often throughout my work day I would get an email message from that other, ethereal world—a status update. How is my other worldly creature doing, what mischief has it found, what pastoral lands has it explored? I was not gaming in the traditional sense. I was not manipulating the creature. It was doing its thing, and I was left to wonder about its world and its life. For me as a user the goal was never immersive gaming. Instead, it was about getting just enough information to create a sense of wonder about other planets and other beings. It made me reflect on other ecologies (even on this earth) and other creatures with which we share this planet earth.
I saw creatures come and go and took joy in their triumphs and was sadden by their loss. Then I’d create new creatures by carefully studying the assemblage of possible features and figuring which combination would stand a chance at a reasonable life out there in TechnoSphere. While they were AI creatures, they never had a robotic feel to them. They felt like ethereal life from a space beyond our own. I look forward to a future TechnoSphere where we can comport ourselves with gnawing, chomping, rolling, and stomping Techno-beasties.”