NEO//QAB: Creating a World Through Speculative Play

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Session Title:

  • Politics of Sentience: Devices for Social Justice

Presentation Title:

  • NEO//QAB: Creating a World Through Speculative Play

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Abstract:

  • We present a design case study of NEO//QAB, an augmented reality speculative design experience that provides a provocative take on religious tolerance, empowering individuals to deal with those who resist cultural assimilation by replacing them visually. NEO//QAB is a two person experience, involving a wearer of a full-body garment, and a controller who controls the appearance of the garment. NEO//QAB falls within the intersection of speculative design and game design; this is a design space we refer to as speculative play, where digital playful interaction is leveraged to prompt speculation on alternative presents and futures. Across four iterations of NEO//QAB, we have observed how different prototypes and their materials have brought to life related, but different, instantiations of the NEO//QAB world. In this paper we expose the design trajectory that has led us to the current instantiation of NEO//QAB, and identify four design strategies for speculative play that focus on successful worlding.


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