An interactive playground where art met tech
A space full of interactive games and gadgets is on show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. The concept of bringing cutting-edge work at the intersection of art and technology at the fringe was originally launched last year, when it was called the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival. This year’s showcase has been rebranded as FuturePlay and it is being held in a pop-up venue at the Assembly Rooms.
The venue includes a number of solo and multiplayer games that I was allowed to play for up to 55 minutes. In truth, I had enough time to play all of the games in just over 30 minutes, but it was a fun experience and a great opportunity to play some unusual indie games.
One of the games was called “Ola De La Vida”, where three players share a large poncho and work together (by tilting and leaning) to move colourful objects from one side of the screen to another. Another game, called “Morning Make-up Madness”, gives you just ten seconds to apply lipstick, blusher, mascara, eye liner and eyeshadow to the character’s face. Like the other games at the event, these were simple to understand and fun to play with.
In terms of innovation, one project called “Portal” uses Augmented Reality to bring artworks to life. The still artwork was placed on the wall and when I held an iPad in front of it using the EYEJACK iOS app, it came to life. I have seen other companies, such as Blippar, create projects like this before but they’re always interesting to try.
Another interesting piece of technology was an instrument called “Dato DUO”. The device lets multiple people create and play with electronic music.
Overall, I enjoyed the FuturePlay event and had a good 30 minutes or so of fun. The technology did not blow me away, but it made for a fun escape from the other performances at the fringe.