In late 1972, a new warden, seen by prisoners as exceptionally harsh, locked down Walpole, ostensibly to search for drugs and weapons. Prisoners felt that this was a tactic to intimidate and quieten down the NPRA
[National Prisoner Reform Association]. They alleged mistreatment during the lockdown, which resulted in embarrassing confrontation, the shutdown of prison industries, and deteriorating conditions and relationships. Prisoners were not allowed out of their cells to eat, use toilets or shower, for weeks. When the warden resigned and the lockdown was partially ended, prisoners refused to return to work in the prison’s lucrative workshops unless the remaining locked-down areas were opened. Rather than accede to this demand, guards at the prison took unprecedented action and walked out from work, effectively going on strike rather than tolerate what they saw as an unacceptable challenge to their authority.
What is supposed to happen in these situations is the complete breakdown of law and order. What in fact happened was an outbreak of peace. Having spent the last year or more organising programmes, practising some self-government, and attempting to speak out for more, the NPRA, which had won the support of prisoners as their legitimate representative, organised committees which then ran the prison, for three months. No prison officers were in the prison besides cadets, and the inmates’ efforts were overseen by neutral civilian observers, volunteers from local communities who were concerned to see better conditions in the prison.
During that time the murder rate in Walpole fell from the highest in the country to zero; rates of violence fell; prisoners worked to bury long-standing feuds; and they reorganised work programmes, achieving, it is alleged, two-thirds cost savings.
Directors, Designers, Writers, Hosts - Giovanna and Paul Shakhovskoy
6 teams in 6 rooms - with one hour to ‘escape the room’ by solving a series of challenges… of various difficulty.
Now this is a truly augmented experience in the following ways:
Blended Realities: Located in a real physical setting referencing local histories but themed in the past using fictional scenarios.
Hybrid Identities: You play as ‘yourself’ and, in some cases, as another character such as a prisoner in a jailhouse seeking clues to prove your innocence
The images above are sorted into sets:
Pre-play - forming teams, being briefed by Paul and Giovanna (types of puzzles, rules of play etc)
In-play - locked in rooms to solve a series of puzzles. I was able to witness the teams from a surveillance system developed by Paul Shakhovskoy. From here, Paul and Giovanna can observe the progress of the teams and intervene if and when necessary
Post-play - Teams de-brief and compare experiences, take photos in character and ask questions of the designers.
[10:33:08 AM] Mci: WOAH WOAH WOAH [10:33:09 AM] Mci: W O A H [10:33:14 AM] Mci: how come Taurus is Donald trump? [10:33:15 AM] seer: wh… [10:33:19 AM] seer: ohh [10:33:21 AM] seer: idk bro [10:33:26 AM] Mci: I’m not a massive stain on the fabric of the universe! [10:33:38 AM] Mci: : ( [10:33:40 AM] seer: look at me tho I’m Bernie and deez nuts B) [10:33:47 AM] seer: be jelly [10:33:48 AM] Mci: berniez nuts [10:33:56 AM] seer: o h my g odo
This team of Interaction Design Masters students at QUT presented their concepts for puzzle designs today to a number of users groups from the Creative Writing Masters cohort at QUT.
After each round of concept presentation this team were immediately considering feedback to refine their concepts before presenting to the next group. This was a particularly efficient and effective use of the session time.