Pixel Motion


kids-moving-WSFPixel Motion gets people moving together.

Teams that win a round get to make a digital snapshot postcard they can send to themselves.

Pixel Motion is a movement-based game built to explore the premise of a world where surveillance cameras have become a public utility, enabling everyone to use them to play games, make souvenir photos, and for other practical daily life purposes. The game was developed at NYU-Poly’s Game Innovation Lab, with support provided by Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs. The core game mechanic makes use of motion-flow software developed by Bell Labs, which looks for overall motion flow patterns and trends instead of trying to track individuals. This allows a true group interaction with a 'more the merrier' feel to it.

Pixel Motion is simple to play, with short rounds that invite collaborative participation. When the game begins, anyone in the camera’s field of view can join in ‘wiping’ pixels off the video feed by moving around within the play space.  Players have 30 seconds to wipe off enough pixels to win the round. A win means everyone gets to pose in a photo with on-screen props. The resulting ‘postcard’ can be sent via email or twitter as a lasting memory of the game round, and rounds with top scores also get their postcard photo featured in the game’s leader board.  

Pixel Motion was featured at the 2013 World Science Festival’s “Innovation Square” and also presented by Katherine Isbister and Holly Robbins at the  “Cool Jobs” panel. You can play Pixel Motion at the Liberty Science Center, a children's science museum in Jersey City, NJ, where it is on display as part of a exhibition slated to run through June 2014.

Project team:

Katherine Isbister – Research Director

Holly Robbins – Human Computer Interaction Specialist, User Experience Designer, and Project Manager

Lei 'Raybit' Tang – Programming Lead and System Architect

Hanzhou 'Joe' Li, Shuchang Zhong, Xinzhao Liang – Programmers

Phoenix Perry – Art Direction

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