Coming up with 50 Puppet game ideas at the end of last month really did help unblock me creatively, and I think that I will be moving forward in making a game with puppets. I’m still refining the idea, but here are my rough notes about what the game might look like:
FLIP THE SCRIPT
“A game where a player narrates a negative interaction/experience that they had from start to finish. Then, the players act out this experience with puppets, deciding on roles among them. At any time, a player (any player) can “activate” a signal for “flipping the script” — this means that they want to interject with a redo of an action or statement with how they think it should have gone instead/how they wish it would have gone. The ‘flip the script’ button causes LEDs to light up (flashing rainbows, probably) on both the puppets and some kind of device that the narrator would hold. Together, action by action/sentence by sentence, the players improvise a “flipped script” version of the incident. At the end of the game, together, the players get to add to a Master document of ‘wishes”‘ for how other humans would treat them, deciding together on what their addition should be, or things they would like to see in the world. Inspired by Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed, improv inspirations from the “Shoulda said” game, and by Snafu Dance Theatre’s Snack Food Music show.
I’d use the micro:bits for the signal and for making the LEDs flash — maybe the signal for getting the leds to flash is covering them or something like that (since they can be used as light sensors), or maybe a puppet bringing its hands together for a certain amount of time (this could also be the case for the human narrator if the human wore gloves, but maybe they could just press a darn button). It probably has to be pretty instantaneous so that the scene can be interrupted quickly, but it should also be something that’s unlikely to happen accidentally. Maybe Arduino Gemma?
Because I want the game to be flexible in terms of content and length, and mostly improvised, I am finding less use for “puppets as controllers” than I thought I might. If the game were more “gamified”, then I could easily see ways of making use of the puppet’s mouth or hands or other aspects (like, for example, the ‘guitar hero’ puppets game idea from my list).”
More on this as it happens!