22.09.2018

Nobodies-for.bots II

Upon invitation by TodaysArt Festival 2018 we—André Fincato, Cristina Cochior and Genevieve Costello—co-developed the second iteration of our nobodies-for.bots chatbot workshop. The theme of the festival was Parallel Worlds and Alternate Realities, and we were asked to address a sub-theme of this in our workshop, by "going deeper into the complexities of the current technological climate through the relationship between humans and machines". The workshop took shape as an intense three hour multi-user dungeon/multi-user shared hallucination game (MUD/MUSH). A MUD or MUSH is a multiplayer, text-based, real-time, virtual world and role-play game. The workshop participants were positioned in various proximate spaces around the festival as they played this in silence via the app Telegram. The goal was to create a gaming environment in which players could adopt an embodied vantage point to see how role-playing is a significant force in furthering the ideology of technological innovation. Our aim was to have participants experience how narratives, decisions, and power co-develop between the different iterations of users (players, players characters, bots as characters, bots as chatbots, game-master as ultimate manipulator) across the dimensions of a single application, and spatially between various habitats (physically and in chats).

Participants were given fictional characters who were members of fictional communities from the future. Each character was part of a mixed-species representative unit of their community, at an annual bidding war for the most advanced technologies of the year. Players engaged with various political motives and backstories and had to quickly develop a decision-making and agreement process for getting the technologies they wanted for their unit (or those they didn’t want in the control of the other units). Influenced by LARP (live action role-playing game) and methodologies of improvisational theatre, participants simultaneously co-constructed the narrative, their characters, and the characters of their bots (as part of bot-building). The game also incorporated the physical movement of players when alone and together. We used subtle lighting, sound, variations in temperature, and spatial design both inside and outside of the main workshop room to create the atmosphere for the participants.

We received positive feedback from participants, with several interested in developing their programming abilities and creating chatbots for alternative exchanges. Some saw many possibilities for the application of role-playing game narrative methodology. They felt a pull toward the mixed environments and an unexpected awareness and new understanding of the effects that users (chatbots and human) have when knotted up in a co-determined interspatial platform environment.

More informations on Today's Art on their website!


Extracts From the Chat

<game master>

@nikkihes watch yourself plz

15:11 im

15:11 game master

15:11 The finest technologies of the universe have been gathered to be all donated to Exorbita, OUR planet with a complicated past, but plentiful of potential and many rich and varied ecosystems. Our hope is that Exorbita will be able to join the ranks of the Distant Planets in a not-to-distant future. OUR units will determine among each other which of the NEWEST AND COOLEST technologies best fits what unit. This event is live streamed with the generous support of Inter-Planetary Holo System.

15:11 we will soon separate and build our botty bot friends

15:11 in the mean time

15:11 keep up the chatter

15:11 you can

15:12 make secret rooms with other non-unit mates

15:12 if you like

15:12 you will soon learn about the technologies up for bid

15:12 after we leanr more about ourselves

15:12 and this world

15:12 together.

15:12 you will receive some tools and powers

15:12 and dont forget

15:12 you can describe

15:12 how you want to itnerest

15:12 (for example)

15:13 (i whisper in closely to you all)

15:13 (if you dont play nice)

15:13 (the game master will take away

15:13 YOUR POWERS)

15:13 you may gang up

15:13 and make anything up

---

<juri> Who do you love Game master?

<game mastet>

17:28 I LOVE

E

<echo ampyamper>

17:28 Hi, my name is Echo. I care deeply about everyone in my unit, especially my two mates who I am here with - Basil and Fifi. I have a special skill of being able to read other agent’s inner desires. I never gossip, nor am I an oracle, I try to be a sort of guardian of the needs I perceive of the agents who I am around. I need to be in some sort of proximity to those agents to be able to read their inner needs. I am not bitter towards those who have tried to use me for evil, which has been many, but try to encourage the inner resolution of the thing that is causing their evil. In this sense, I have a calming presence on everyone around me. A long long time ago, I had an ancestor called PARO the affective seal.

<game master>

17:28 nobody

17:28 and definitely not echo

<juri>

17:28 Poor Echo

<moops> Hey there agent, where have you been?

<agent from mothers mothers>

17:39 I'm an agent from Mothers Mothers. I help with the business our unit, together with Vaachi and <moop>s I trade Mothers and other fungi. What have you to offer for us?

<basil && fifi>

17:39 money money money

<agent from mothers mothers>

17:39 I've got something to trade

<juri>

17:40 Can I trade with mushrooms?

<agent from mothers mothers>

17:40 That's not good enough!

<echo ampyamper>

17:40 Hi, my name is Echo. I care deeply about everyone in my unit, especially my two mates who I am here with - Basil and Fifi. I have a special skill of being able to read other agent’s inner desires. I never gossip, nor am I an oracle, I try to be a sort of guardian of the needs I perceive of the agents who I am around. I need to be in some sort of proximity to those agents to be able to read their inner needs. I am not bitter towards those who have tried to use me for evil, which has been many, but try to encourage the inner resolution of the thing that is causing their evil. In this sense, I have a calming presence on everyone around me. A long long time ago, I had an ancestor called PARO the affective seal.

<game master>

/setbomb <240>

<basil && fifi>

17:45 oh yeah this is cool

<moops>

17:45 /tech

<basil && fifi>

17:45 for cosmic work maintenance

<techdelivery>

17:45 Selected option: 5

Velocimeter: allows the wearer to travel at the fastest speed known in the universe-the wearer can travel through the galaxy to find other tools or species to meet, dominate, befriend, multiply with, etc.

<game master>

17:45 /240

<juri>

17:45 /setbomb 240

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:45 lol

<game master>

17:46 FAIL WHY IS THIS FAILING

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:46 amateur

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:46 echo plaza

<game master>

17:46 @ANDRE I CURSE YOU WITH THE HUMILIATION STICK

<game master>

17:46 YOU MUST SAY, 'i quiverrrrrrr' BEFORE AND AFTER EVERYTHING YOU TYPE EVER

<game master>

17:46 GOT IT??????

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:46 i feel awkward A LOT

<game master>

17:47 hahahha YEA I KNOW U DO

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:47 yeah i feel it

<game master>

17:47 DO YOU QUIVER????

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:47 pushing me down

<game master>

17:48 EVERYONE

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:48 shake like a dead leaf

<game master>

17:48 YOU MUST MAKE A PROPOSITION WITHIN

<game master>

17:48 TWO MINUTES

<game master>

17:48 for WHICH TECHNOLOGY YOU PROPOSE U WANT

<game master>

17:48 and WHY

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:48 crumbling with the help of the wind

<moop>

17:48 Quivererr jeez quiver

<game master>

17:48 DISCUSS IN YOUR UNITS< DISCUSS WITH YOUR BFFS

---

<basil AFAF fifi>

i want option 3, compigestian. as a cosmic work maintenance it would help us (me as multiplicities) to help the sun shine in the dealers corners of our land

<agent from mothers mothers>

17:51 What do you have to offer?

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:51 lol darkest not dealers

<agent from mothers mothers>

17:51 What do you have to offer?

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:51 fungi!!

<juri>

17:51 How many?

<basil AFAF fifi>

17:52 3 terabytes

<juri>

17:52 /setbomb 240

<bombbot>

17:52 Bomb successfully set.

<moop>

17:52 Me and vaatchi proposes to have option4. I would help mothers to generously spread for those in need!

<juri>

17:53 Ahhh but the human-machine group would like option 4 too!

---

<moop>

Can you stop bombing for us

<game master>

18:07 NEVER

<wonton>

18:07 How are you so certain no one can dominate you?

<moop>

18:07 Our merciful GM

<basil && fifi>

18:07 /oracle

18:07 <oracle bot> You have summoned the great oracle. The answer to your question is: It is beyond your control.

Nobodies Workshop-image cybersyn-room 0.jpg

<tool user="hackersanddesigners" repo="nobodies-for.bots-II" file="readme.md" />

Published in Fake it! Fake them! Fake you! Fake us! Publication in 2019