Locative Game, Game Room, Hammer Museum (2012)
“Samara Smith’s Chain Reaction (Westwood) (2012) is a particularly relevant example of how games in public space, also known as “big urban games,” are contemporary adaptations of the dérive model. Chain Reaction’s players do not move to any set destination, and there is no clear win condition. Instead players navigate the city based on their observations of independent businesses or the lack thereof. While it can be easy to overlook these factors during an everyday commute, the game trains players to heighten personal awareness of their surroundings by challenging them to find particular socioeconomic clues.”
Game Room Exhibition Poster, Hammer Museum, 2012
Locative Game, Midtown Manhattan (2006)
“[T]he sound artist and locative media practitioner Samara Smith designed Chain Reaction (2006), a locative game with the goal of sensitizing players to the disappearance of independent enterprises in New York City…This urban game requires the participants to change direction each time they encounter a pedestrian carrying a particular consumer item. For example, one rule set requires that the players change directions each time they see a Starbuks coffee cup or Barnes and Noble bag. Participants are released and allowed to walk in any direction they choose only when they encounter an independent bookstore or music seller. Maps of each walk reveal difference in various neighborhoods around New York. A fun and participatory way to explore and map urban spaces, this game’s type of investigative rules set holds interesting potential for community-based documentary projects.”
From Critical Play: Radical Game Design, by Mary Flanagan (210-211)
Boal Quote from: The Rainbow of Desire (12)
Chain Reaction (2006) was featured at the Hammer Museum in 2012 and cited in book Critical Play: Radical Game Design (2009).