Mood Pinball Arcade Game & Mobile App

BOM created a playable pinball machine game and mobile app for the ODI (Open Data Institute) in London, gamifying open data.

ClientOpen Data InstituteServicesArt Direction Year2019

Our Role: Concept, Production, Engagement

BOM was commissioned to conceive and build a game with underserved communities that would gamify open data for public audiences. Through outreach with a focus group, we identified the game concept and technical specification, and built a physical pinball machine game and mobile app.

The Mission Objectives:

  • Engage people with hidden disabilities to develop a game concept that playfully explores open civic data relevant to their experience for public audiences.
  • From the game concept, design and produce a physical playable game that would withstand national touring and serious game play.
  • Design and create a mobile app to expand audience reach.
  • Beta test the work, and showcase the final products at V&A Museum Digital Design Weekend and ODI Summit 2019

The Execution:

We brought together a focus group of neurodivergent people with hidden disabilities to develop ideas in response to their shared experiences. The group met physically at BOM across multiple workshops to provide insights that led to the defined concept of a fun playable pinball machine game.

The aim of the game is to move the ball around a lush play field which is based on the city map and open data of Coventry City Centre. The player has to avoid the ball hitting noisy and crowded spots, navigating to arrive in calming locations before returning home.

We worked with three creative practitioners including neurodivergent artist Edie Jo Murray, immersive storyteller Harmeet Chagger-Khan and BOM Digital Producer Ben Neal to craft the experience.

Mood Pinball is a highly stylised pinball game has a synthesised dataset buried deep in the heart of the code. It’s a dreamy illustration of how data might inform everyday decisions that affect the well-being of real people and playfully re-imagines how city-wide data could be used by an individual, or explored by playing a game.

The Triumph:

Launching the game at ODI’s Annual Summit, and getting a play from Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and Founder of the ODI!

Mood Pinball has been exhibited nationally, including V&A Museum, Somerset House, Festival of Science & Curiosity, Nottingham and BOM.

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