This is the text of a submission to the Codepoetry Slam 1.1 held at Stanford University, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.
The Poietic Generator is a social network game takes place within a two-dimensional matrix in the tradition of board games and its principle is similar to both Conway’s Game of Life and the surrealists’ Exquisite corpse. Every player draws on a small part of a global mosaic formed by the dynamic juxtaposition of those parts, which are manipulated by all the participants (eventually it will be possible for several thousand players to play simultaneously). Every player can therefore change the sign in his/her square, depending on the overall state of the image, which itself depends on the actions of all the individual players. Out of this cybernetic loop emerges a kind of narrative: autonomous forms, sometimes abstract, sometimes figurative, appear in a completely unpredictable manner and tell stories… There is no concept of winning or losing, the goal of the game is simply to collectively draw recognizable forms and to observe how we create them together.
The Poietic Generator is known as one of the historical works of digital art, interactive art, generative art and net.art. The project has been launched a long time ago (1986!) at a time when the technology did not allow massive experiments. Nevertheless, small scale sessions performed over the web or experimental networks with various online communities have provided a good proof of concept.
In 2014, time has come to launch some bigger scale experiments with the help of citizen from all over the world. That’s why, the project is going to be launched as citizen science research. Its goal is to give to citizen scientists a direct observation and a better understanding of crowd phenomena (self-organization, temporal behaviours, panic, etc.), as well as providing data to scientists in order to challenge various theories which may predict some global behaviours and dynamics. Various research groups in Europe are already involved in the project. Some researchers from Stanford may come onboard. Why not ?
The judges may have idea of the huge potential of the game by testing it. But please, test it together at the same time with your smarphone or tablet. Keep in mind that it is a collective game.