Catcall Control is a light-hearted tangible interaction game created to spark conversation about street harassment

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Catcall Control was the final project for Georgia Tech's ID 3510 Interactive Products class. For this group project, we were asked to create a tangible interaction game coded in Arduino. I designed user interaction, storyline, and game illustrations.

 

The final game was showcased at the 2018 Launchpad Exposition, which had over 400 attendees.

Our team wanted to build a conversation-starter about street harassment that

  1. Encourages awareness about street harassment without polarizing stances

  2. Offers a playful but healing experience for those who have been catcalled

  3. Builds empathy in those who have not been catcalled

But how do we build welcoming and engaging experience for such a negative phenomenon?

Questions we constantly asked ourselves:

 

How would this feature make the player feel if they have been catcalled? If they have not?

 

What conclusions could be drawn from this feature? Does this promote violence or empathy?

Does this game feature add to or subtract from the conversation?

"CATCALL CONTROL" was built designed with these challenges in mind.

 

A game for participants of all ages and genders, it was showcased at the 2018 LaunchPad Expo hosted by Georgia Tech's Industrial Design Department.

CATCALL CONTROL @the Launchpad Expo 2018

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the team

INTERFACE

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STORY

In the game, the player approaches the world from a woman's first-person perspective as she walks from home to work in the morning, work to lunch, and work to home at the end of the day.

Thus, the game is split into three levels, with the final, most difficult level as the night-time walk from work to home.

 

As shown in the Cornell study, instances of street harassment can often affect work performance and/or mood much later in the day. Thus, we designed "success" and "fail" conditions for each level around how effective the player could control catcallers. The "mood" bar on the top left corner would indicate status.

We also wanted to emphasize that not all men were catcallers, but also to convey the unease felt by women when they couldn't predict who would catcall her. Thus, a random number generator determined which man would catcall.

We did not want the game to encourage arbitrary punishment of any man sharing the sidewalk, Thus, a second "fail" state is triggered when 10+ innocent men are targeted by the hammer.

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INSPIRATION

The core inspiration for this game interface was integrating tangible interactions into gaming. By creating a gameplay that involved more parts of the body, we were able to take advantage of the intuitive physical feedback of the physical interface.

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We were inspired by Bret Victor’s discussion on the future of interface design, which introduced me to John Napier’s four fundamental grips, which are underused in the interaction designs common today. Based on this understanding, we wanted to build a tactile interaction that explored the visceral connotations of each type of grip.

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