our capacity to imagine, describe and evaluate alternative realities and possible futures is limited. we might use fictional media to narrate, visualize and “consume” worlds that differ from the world we know, but we cannot dive into those alternatives to explore effects that were not scripted by their authors. pre∆lab’s focus is on structural, social and mental “conditions” of change rather than on trending themes and scenarios. how can we experience different conditions of change and explore innovation processes before they can be observed in reality? how can we speculate about possible worlds from a micro-sociological perspective … taking into account individual attitudes and social behaviors they may shape?
preenaction games // preenaction
pre∆lab works hard to create parlor game like experimental set-ups. we integrate aspects of social interaction design and player’s engagement as they work in parlor games for millennia. we combine them with techniques from experimental sciences. alternative realities immerse participants/players into speculative social situations. our focus is on stories, interactions and ideas generated during the processes of both, game development and gameplay. those stories help researchers, designers and decision-makers to better understand change, to test and concretize their concepts, models, and ideas.
by introducing the term “preenaction”, pre∆lab transfers the familiar cultural concept “re-enactment” (educative or entertaining re-arrangement of historical events) into the context of design and into speculations about the future. social situations or systems are modeled as interactive games in which the researchers introduce surprising interventions, like disruptive technologies, products or services, legislative, administrative, or judicial changes, limitation of resources, reevaluations of values and norms. we do not judge the probability and desirability as they depend on how the environment is put into effect by the participants/players.
preenaction games are not trying to simulate the future. our game concept do not engineer a “reality” or apply ”trends”. we´ve learnt that it is more effective to play interventions that might appear “extreme” or “absurd”, as those interventions help (and force) players to cross mental barriers and generate surprising insights.
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