Propinquity was a collaborative project – primary authors Lynn Hughes and Bart Simon with the Modern Nomads: Jane Tingley, Anouk Wipprecht and Marius Kintel
Propinquity, is a ludic experience, explicitly focused on the body rather than the screen, that is designed to evoke both dancing and fighting games. It focuses on full body interaction and the use of sound and game play mechanics to produce an intensely social and physical experience.
Two participants wear soft patches with proximity sensors and vibrotactile feedback, along with a glove that provides additional tactile feedback. As players move to music, different sensors patches on their bodies light up to indicate when they are active. The patches are programmed to light up in different patterns and for different lengths of time to provide different types and levels of gameplay. A player must attempt to get as close as possible to active patches on the other player’s body to score points. The longer s/he can stay “in the sweet spot”(but without actually touching), the higher the resulting score.
The score is suggested ambiently via a simple, very physical animation projected on the floor. This visual feedback provides a sense of relative success as the players move and interact. A numerical score is also displayed on the edge of the circle but is intended to be consulted as a final score after the experience.
Propinquity can be played, in either competitive or cooperative mode, by two players at a time (at the moment). But it is also designed to provide a very lively and expressive spectacle: a kind of open, sometimes awkward and sometimes fluid, choreography of bodies-in-relation.