Camaraderie Park is a multimedia narrative experience which is currently comprised of a text-based messaging bot, a short narrative game, and internet-connected wearable devices. It is an ever-evolving project which uses collaborative mechanics and networked technologies to envision speculative digital futures and to create an immersive narrative experience.
Camaraderie Park is a fictional retro-futurist tourist attraction inspired by Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade, Serbia. Kalemegdan Park consists of Kalemegdan fortress which predates Medieval times, a riverside walkway, a zoo, two monasteries, restaurants, cafes, and art galleries. It contains monuments to fallen soldiers during World War I, the park is littered with tanks and artillery from World War II, it features a monument dedicated to fallen Communist leaders, and a tomb with the remains of a Turkish officer who died during the Ottoman occupation.
Camaraderie Park creates a cohesive narrative experience across multiple forms of media that explore how history flows into the present and future and how technology is used to preserve the past while reframing it and painting a desired narrative. Camaraderie Park consists of a fortress, various temples, holographic figures of ancient forest spirits, and of fallen soldiers whose DNA was used to create an accurate holographic image.
Camaraderie Park borrows heavily from Slavic folklore that predates Christianity and that has still managed to survive despite various colonizing parties and ideologies that have aimed to wipe it out. It creates an environment where these folkloric elements, the remnants of these colonizing forces and ideologies coexist in a distant, peaceful future where generational conflicts have been laid to rest. Futuristic technologies are used to select various elements of the past and valorize them to project a desired future.
The world of Camaraderie Park was first introduced in a game which I submitted for the Neighborhood Games Jam. This short, point and click game takes the player through the various attractions available at Camaraderie Park. Below are some illustrations form the game:
Facebook Messenger Bot
Another iteration of the game involves an exchange with a bot through Facebook messenger. The bot helps players choose which attractions of Camaraderie Park that they should visit. You can chat with the bot here.
After the player has completed the exchange with the bot, they receive an image of the attraction that best suits them. Below are some examples of the attractions that would be shared with the player:
I chose to use engaging with a chatbot as a mechanic for this iteration because I wanted to explore an avenue of engaging with multiple players at once. The player responses are stored in a server-less database. Their responses will be sent to an internet-connected wearable device.
Internet-connected wearable devices change their display according to collective decisions that players made after engaging with the bot. These devices are akin to enchanted ornaments that change according to ephemeral forces carried in the form of internet frequencies. They are a type of armor that carries the influence of hundreds of other players inside of it, facilitating a level of community that transcends the boundaries of space.
Below is the latest prototype of the device. It is powered by an Adafruit Feather Huzzah and consists of a TFT LCD screen, an on/off switch, and a LiPo battery. The case was built using polymer clay.
Below are some progress shots of the devices as I was putting together the circuit and building the clay:
This is me wearing one of the devices and the finished version of the other:
This is not a wifi-enabled deviced, but it was a self-contained game which inspired this project: