PComp Final Ideas

1: Device critiquing the concept of the American Dream

In the US, there’s this crazy idea called the American Dream – “the set of ideals (Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.” (Wikipedia). This is, and always has been, BS.

I’m interested in repurposing some sort of 1950s interface to create a multi-layered critique that explores not only how dead the Dream is today, but how it never even was in the 1950s, the decade that people most strongly associate with the American Dream. Statistics show us that equality of opportunity is a myth in society today. People love to harken back to a “better” time:

1950s-american-housewife american-dream-post-war-abundance-swscan00536-copy family-3 Post-War-Home-4 suburbia-lawn-mower-58-swscan03227-copy

In reality, however, the attainment of the American Dream was restricted to heterosexual white men just as it is today. These images portray antiquated gender norms, heteronormativity, the desirability of white flight to the suburbs, and are more generally totally whitewashed. Most people already understand the idea that the Dream is dead for most folks today, but have a harder time accepting that it wasn’t ever a thing.

I’m thinking repurposing a 1950s radio might be neat, but am open to other interface ideas.

2: Anti-Monopoly

I’m not sure how physical computing could be intentionally added to a board game in meaningful ways, but I’m struck by how terrible a person I become while playing the game Monopoly. It would be interesting to think about creating a game where players work collectively to distribute resources more equally, a kind of anti-Monopoly.

Other areas of interest: War, trauma, and memory; regrets, mourning, and time


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