We need this. Every good videogame has a good soundtrack, and it always has to correspond with whats going on in the game. When you’re walking across a sunny field, you get sunny field music. When you’re battling a boss, you get boss battle music. When you open a treasure chest, you get treasure music. Thats just how it goes.
We have the technology, it just needs to be built. Here’s how I see it happening. Theres an app that you can download for your smartphone and it knows where it is in the world. This app can references open data tables, for example health inspection scores, or tree density, or crime rate, or property taxes, or whatever. Local weather would be a good dataset too. Then the app assigns each dataset to a musical instrument. If there is high tree density then you get crazy awesome balkan dance trumpet music. If there are zero trees, there is zero trumpet, and so on.
We just need some music that is separated into different tracks where all of the parts can sound great together. Ideally, local artists could make soundtracks for their local neighborhood. I would love to walk around New York and listen to David Byrne’s take on the city. Or hear the Corpus Callosum's take on San Francisco.
The idea is very similar to the following video, which is totally awesome. But it adds the open data table element. This will allow adventurers to become more familiar with their city, and open eyes to things that were previously invisible.
GPS Beatmap from Jesse Stiles on Vimeo.
Powers of Fun
Like the Eames thing, but its a puzzle game. You get to control a character that can scale up and down, like from the size of an ant, up to the size of a giant robot, and back down to the size of a microbe, and you interact with and environments at the different scales, which in turn effects systems that have a ripple effect across different systems at different scales. At times, it is a precarious balancing game, but ultimately it should be a lot of fun.
For example, you might start out as an ant, and at level one, you go along and solve your ant puzzles. At the next level you get to a puzzle that cant be solved by an ant, and you have to go down to the microbe scale to change the environment, maybe you have to address some microbial issues affecting your aphid farm? But the microbe scale puzzle that you solve knocks something off balance at the planetary scale, and you have to try and balance that through the ant scale and the microbe scale. Then the human scale comes in and changes everything.
I was just hanging out with my friend Miloh, who had the great idea of going up to the solar system scale, and down to the molecular scale, and maybe an ouroboros thing happens and you can keep going up and down and maybe if you go far enough you can time travel back to the beginning of time and altar the mollecular conditions that make up the primordial soup of our creation, then go forward and explore every possible alternative parallel existence in space and time. Or something.
Inspiration for this game comes from Will Wright’s Spore which everyone should play through at least once, and Paper Mario, which is a pretty amazing puzzle game that switches between the second dimensions and beyond!
Anyways, all I really want to do is play this game on my jeejah and think about systems dynamics while waiting for the bus.