What, you may ask, is a video walk? Have you ever done a photo walk in a puzzlehunt? You receive a stack of photos. The top one is Times Square. So you go to Times Square. And then you look at the second photo, and it's a storefront—and you stand there in Times Square and you look and look around, and eventually you spot that storefront in real life. So you walk over there, perhaps leaving Times Square. Then you look at the next photo in your stack, and that brings you a little further.
This video walk gave the
playe SFMOMA visitor a video player. (Well, it was a video camera. These were primitive days of 2001, and we hadn't figured out how to cobble together video players from the flint knives and bearskins available to us. But video cameras could play video. So you got a video camera with a video already loaded in it.) Playing the video shows... a scene from SFMOMA, recorded months before. And the video shows you a path to walk through the museum. But it feels different to watch a video as you walk versus glancing at a still photo as you walk. Your brain reacts to the video—I kept trying to walk around the video-people, nearly crashing into real-people.
Thacher talks about similar resonance by showing players videos shot in the places where they'll view the videos. I hadn't picked up on that before, but now that she mentions it and I think about it... It was weird seeing videos of folks on Telegraph Hill while I was on Telegraph Hill. (Although goodness knows there was plenty of other weirdness going on.) I wasn't walking around while watching those videos, so I guess I missed out on that kind of Cardiffian dissonance. On the other hand, if I'd been distracted by a video and thus fell down one of those steep Telegraph Hill stairways... uhm, yeah, good thing I wasn't so engrossed while in motion.
So I'm looking back nostalgically on an off-kilter feeling I had years ago... Oh man, now I want to sneak a video walk into a game, but I'm not working on anything location-based any time soon.
Focus. Focus is good.