Identity is a game where a team of players have to guess which one of them is making the controllers light up based on their movements. In identity, one of the players’ controllers makes all of the controllers light up when moved. When the controllers are moved in sync, it becomes unclear which players’ controller controls all of the controller lights. Gameplay involves a team of players performing synchronised movements in response to movement commands given to them by spectators to conceal whose controller is associated with the digital movement representation.
Identity highlights how game designers can consider new ways of displaying movement data, when and where we show it, whether we can conceal its representation, and how algorithms can be used to change the nature of this representation. Designers of digital games that display the movement of players often look to deliver clear representations of their actions. For example, when people play Kinect Sports, the person playing the game is conceived as a faithful avatar of the player in the real world.
In contrast, I set out to explore how we can make more engaging games and playful experiences by experimenting with the dynamics of how movement is represented. I use Identity as a practical example to explore ambiguity as a resource for playful design, and explain how game designers can embed this new thinking into the games they create.