TENACITY is an art game that emerged out of a 6 weeks at Khoj International Artist’s Association. I collaborated with Kinjal Sampat, an Urban Sociologist, in developing an experiential space where play is the conduit for assessing human interaction. Kinjal brought in data and theory about understanding cities in the global South, while I brought in my knowledge of game and interaction design.
The core premise of TENACITY hopes to engage the players in an embodied experience of stereotyping on the fictitious map of TENACITY. The game board is a fictitious adaptation of existing ward data from Mumbai, while the characters are set in the same landscape. 4 players may embody the 4 characters, although groups may play a single character together. The characters are based on demographic details, Bollywood portrayals, and existing profiles of residents. The amenities available depend on the ward data for the same as in real-life. Both the game board and the characters are an attempt to allow the players to briefly inhabit these characters, while creating a narrative for them on the cityscape of the game board.
While it is easier to craft a glib politically correct response to challenge stereotypes around us, we often internalize these generalizations to the point where they are more apparent in our subconscious responses. Using a terrain of play to engage with the player’s own assumptions about these familiar yet anonymous characters, a conversation is started about how we perceive those around us, those we other without knowing.