“Cubed: A Networked Physical Gaming System” presented by Askham and Hastilow


Session Title:

  • Software for Artists

Presentation Title:

  • Cubed: A Networked Physical Gaming System




  • Commissioned by Folly as part of its Portable Pixel Playground (PPP) project, Cubed is a networked set of gaming objects that enable the exploration of diverse physical spaces and helps to develop relationship-building skills. The project was launched at the Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Arts Festival held at Grizedale Forest Park, Cumbria, 2nd April 2010.

    Cubed makes use of recent advances in embedded technology to deliver a unique platform for kinaesthetic engagement and creative play. A set of eight programmable plastic blocks – wirelessly interconnected to form a meshed system – Cubed enables a range of different individual and team based games and offers the capacity for further game developments utilizing feedback and input from participants.

    Conceived as a system of Cellular Automata, Von Neumann (1966), Cubed enables populations to work as open systems of communication. In such systems programs can exist across individual components or nodes. Rather than standing independently, each cube benefits from its changing relationship with others in the system. Such organizing principles can be extended further, by taking into account each player and their relationships with other players, as well as the associations between players and cubes. Taken as a whole, these interactions form a complex web of reflexive relationships, heterogeneous assemblages of playful engagement.

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