Pulse: Art Meets Data in a Mobile Game

POSTED BY Christina Arbini on May 24, 2012

On Monday, in collaboration with 4 Culture and King County Metro, we launched PULSE, a mobile game designed for riders of Metro’s RapidRide B Line. (www.blinepulse.com)

We were charged with creating a game that demonstrated innovation and artistry while improving the rider experience. From the outset, we were drawn to the tension inherent in public transit: it is a fundamentally communal and shared experience, yet people tend to isolate ourselves in bubbles of personal space. We saw an opportunity to use a mobile game to connect that community in a new way.

As mobile devices and connectivity become more and more ubiquitous, we both consume and generate more and more data. What if we could turn that data into something meaningful and shared? Something like… art?

Riders respond to daily questions or prompts based on weekly themes. Pulse takes that response, along with other data like time of day, location and speed and translates them into a unique visualization. Those “data points” are then plotted along with the responses from other riders to create a piece of evolving public art that reflects the “pulse” of the rider community.

Pulse applies the mechanics of a game to create a social experience. It uses the medium of a mobile game to turn data into art.

Go to www.blinepulse.com to learn more or to join the game. (you can see the daily art on any computer, but you’ll need to use your smartphone to play!)

WRITTEN BY Christina Arbini

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