THE ALONE TIME GAMES, video, 2009
The Alone Time Games are inspired by the phenomenon of amateur “how-to” videos on the internet. I wanted to create a series of games that take responsibility for actions people naturally do when they are bored and alone. The Alone Time Games address two forms of residue, both physical and mental. The physical marks are clearly created when playing the games, leaving behind traces on shoes, magazines, and scantrons. The mental space is a residue of a situationally created wanting that spurs on the individual’s desire or need to play the games.
Shoe Maze is a game that allows the player to pass the time drawing on an object without a clear end. Tracing the lines on the soles of our shoes gives us purpose without any real seriousness. First Name Magazine Boggle is a fun way of finding ourselves in media. This game also creates a renewed value to periodicals we have read a million times or magazines we never want to read in the first place. Scantron Metroid encourages the player to take control of their situation and create a new purpose for their being there. This game functions as a form of protest to standardized tests and conformity in general.
Though there is a physical residue created in these three games, the more paramount residue is a mental state. Boredom entails a lack of action or purpose for a period of time. Also, boredom or a state of aloneness can indicate isolation or abandonment of human interaction. The Alone Time Games are activities that mask the traces that range from a wanting of engagement with others to simply waiting around with for something better to do. Possibly, the importance of The Alone Time Games is to suggest to us that sitting and just being is probably enough.