Who Are The Players?

Are we controlling computers or are computers controlling us?

Computers are programmed and operated by humans, yet many have become slaves to their devices. Given the speed at which technology is growing, could computers one day control humans? What would our society look like? What would our roles as humans be? The team was fascinated by this idea and brought to light this dystopian future through a game between two computers that requires a human to serve them as a tool.

In this game, a human follows a set of instructions generated by the computer via an audio output, without knowledge of what he or she is about to do. In ‘reality’, the two computers are playing each other in a guessing game, using humans as a brush to create drawings. The human draws a shape following instructions from the first computer. After which, the second computer attempts to guess what the human has drawn and tells the first computer what it sees.

The process started with a brainstorm on game ideas, why people play games, which kinds of games and interactions that exist within games. The team decided to move forward with the intriguing question of why computers would need humans in the first place. Ultimately, narrowing down to the need for humans to help computers express themselves in the physical world.

During the early prototyping stages, the team used pseudo-code and roleplaying to refine concepts and interactions. As the project was constrained to programming only, without the use of machine learning, many hours were spent on the implementation of image recognition and on coding. The team adopted an incremental approach in programming, dividing the code into different parts (e.g., communication between the two computers, text to speech and computer vision).

The code was repeatedly tested to evaluate the precision of the image recognition, which required a lot of calibration and control of elements within the physical space (e.g., lighting, camera positioning and the type of pen used by the human).

This game was created using Processing and the following libraries: OpenCV, ControlP5, Processing Video, Processing Net, Java AWT, and ttslib.