Monday, September 24, 2012

The Army of the White Peacock: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

Last school year (2011-2012), I taught a writing class called Worlds within Worlds: Creating Alternative Realities. We studied classic works of science fiction and fantasy, such as Flatland, the Martian Chronicles, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, as well as the modern classic Feed. We also looked at case studies of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) such as "I Love Bees."

The students were charged with creating an alternate world that they would write about and create artifacts and characters from for the entire school year. When possible, I like to do my own assignments so that I will understand what I have asked the students to do. Last year, I decided I would also create an alternate reality, as well as an ARG for my my students to discover and play. And thus, Army of the White Peacock was born.

I used my weekly visit to Adi Shakti Studio as an incubator for "THE GAME" as it came to be known amongst the other pottery mavens. Studio owner and good buddy Heather Anderson (above) was my biggest supporter in creating and finishing this game, which ultimately took me 7 months and hundreds of hours to design, implement, and bring to a conclusion.
The picture above shows one of my students holding a sign announcing the final day of the game. I finally pulled back the "This Is Not a Game" curtain, inviting those with questions to come and have the answers revealed.

I learned a lot from making the game, but probably the most important lesson I learned was the importance of finishing things. I am so guilty of starting things and never finishing them. I have begun several excellent novels, none of which is longer than 100 pages. I have started collaborative art projects that are still unfinished (looking at you, Wedding Dress Art Project), and I have many unfinished paintings crowding the corners of my studio. But dammit, I finished the game. I'm going to detail here what was entailed in making the game, in case anyone is interested. But I think I'll finish that later.

1 comment:

Phoebe said...

You are the most brilliant person in every way! Oh, wait, I'm not an objective judge of that.