Are Apps Theatre? Discuss.

Jo Verrent, 5 October 2012

Attended by Jo, Rachael Walton, Ria Warburton, Tim Wheeler, Katie Fenwick, Jason Bell, Alex Kelly and Mak Taylor-Batty plus a few others in and out.

Started off talking about Zombies, Run!, Papa Sangre and Nightjar and morphed quickly into a discussion on what is app, what is game, what is theatre and which words alienate which people.

Apps/games/theatre can be site specific, made for a particular space and time and/or and and/or not made to also be accessible by others to - even if they can't access elements of the original intended piece (ie a piece made for Brighton seafront being ‘played’ in Australia).

Apps/games - can have longevity over - can add longevity to -theatre. They can be the only platform something is experienced on or simply add an additional layer (or pre element, apres element to work). They can give information, provide an immersive experience or make life more interesting. If they don't work or are not interesting, people switch off very quickly.

Basically, anything is possible... so are we asking the wrong question when asking what is possible? Isn't it - what do we want to do, can we do that this way?

Interesting questions:

Can apps provide non-human entry points for work?
Private spaces can become public spaces
Will creating an app become as cheap as creating a website did - and in the same short timescale?
Do we look down on games? Do we look up to theatre? Is language the main problem here?
What can we charge for an app? Would people pay over £1.99? Would people pay £25 or more?

Things mentioned as examples:

Koyaaniquatsi (Mind the Gap making a film element for their IMMOVEABLE project - where an 6 foot block of stone was placed on a street - influenced by this)
Life experience games in USA
Port of Sheffield

James Brindle phone mapping
Blast Theory: A machine to see with
Sonic Maze (Mind the Gap)
Fastnight (Prototype Theatre)
that game you played with your oyster card... Fitocracy (borrows from gaming culture)

Who might fund app development in a theatre context? ACE
NESTA (currently running an R&D strand) NVCO/Buzzbank

Universities AHRC
British Academy Wellcome Trust

How do we continue to speak to each other (especially peer to peer) about this to avoid reinventing wheels (or apps!)


Theatre, development, Development, platform, Platform, apps, interface, applications, gaming, theatre