Atomic Vacation Makes First Cut for Creative Capital

Atomic Vacation combines a contemporary database-influenced narrative with

the emotional potency of oral history to generate spaces for actively

contemplating national identity, global citizenship, technology and

embodiment. While players explore Google landscapes of the American West,

visiting places of natural beauty like the Grand Canyon, as well as sites

of nuclear missile storage and testing, Shizuku, a robot girl from the

possible future, narrates the Pinnochio-esque story of her former life on

Earth. Along the journey, the player encounters archival objects (image,

video, sound and text)  from Cold War history (e.g. remarkably callous

State Department films about HIroshima, Paul Robeson’s  testimony

about being considered “less than an American” before the House

Un-American Activities Committee, etc.) and the present-day (e.g. DARPA

research on “narrative neurobiology,” a rescued egg-farm

chicken’s first walk on grass, the Japanese news report about a

prototype robot girl). Players can access other players’

contributions of data (text, sound, and image) offered in response to

in-game challenges, and contribute their own.  Part multimedia fiction,

part historical archive, part community art project (players earn points

for tweets and for adding media to the game) AV allows players to interact

with their present-day selves from the vantage point of a post-apocalyptic

future. The object of the game is to prevent that future from becoming a

reality and to engage players in small, but personally meaningful acts of

archiving, contemplation, and aspiration. The final project will be an

Android app with narrative extensions housed and distributed through

Twitter.

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