PLAY is composed of giant interactive games which invite visitors to literally become part of unique multi-sensory play experiences where relationship dynamics such as friendship, collaboration, group cooperation and empathy can be explored firsthand.
The games give new meaning to something that is familiar and players are invited to see things from a different perspective. For adults, the games offer an opportunity to remember their first impressions of childhood. For children, the exhibition levels the playing field with adults by encouraging simultaneous discovery within the giant games while creating their own unique experiences--at the same time.
Visitors participate in six, all-body interactive games and activity areas. Each is guided by a bilingual (English/Spanish) narrative and large format graphics which reaffirm the social sciences at work along with highlighting interpersonal challenges, skills and the choices that shape outcomes.
The exhibit is designed to help children and adults explore relationships and social engagement as it relates to their daily lives and our shared global environment. PLAY emphasizes teamwork, tolerance, dialogue, conflict resolution, participation, compassion and more—all of which are fundamental aspects for the relationships which are essential to our lives. Throughout the experience, we are reminded what it means to be a friend and to recognize the need for others.
Dice - SEE yourself in others and others in you
The world comes together to tell one message from a monumental 6’ X 6’ die. Each side represents a different continent with a culturally distinct narration. As the listener puts an ear against the white dots along the sides, he or she can hear hundreds of proverbs from past generations and varied cultures told by a medley of voices.
Bowling - BE THERE for your friends
Six bowling balls are displayed—each representing a challenge. As each person moves toward the end of the alley, the sound of a rolling bowling ball sweeps the floor at the speed and path of an actual throw. Behind the pins, a large synchronized video screen displays each rolling ball smashing into the pins. Symbolically, the pins remain upright as a powerful group, and are unaffected by the blow of the ball; surprisingly, the ball is demolished as it hits the pins and breaks in a variety of ways, sometimes exploding into fire, dissolving as vapor or shattering like glass.
Backgammon - LISTEN to the Dialogue
An oversize 13’ X 13’ backgammon board invites visitors to create new musical compositions. With each step, the motion activates the triangles of the board. They become illuminated and produce a melody that interacts with melodies coming from other players’ actions. As the visitors respond to the actions of others, the melody becomes a polyphonic symphony.
Dominoes - THINK before you act
A full set of giant, soft-play dominoes encourages creativity and active play. The domino shapes can be set up in a variety of arrangements for imaginative play and are firm enough for use as seating. How big? Here everyone works together to construct buildings, forts, mazes and more. Visitors can practice matching and sequencing numbers or try a simple version of the domino game to promote cooperation and skills.
Billiards - FEEL as a part of something greater than yourself
Here the "human collective" is represented by a pool table surface with a set of 9 giant billiard balls visitors can move.
Each ball sounds with a melody that interacts with the other balls, synchronizing individual melodies to form a complex composition.
Foosball - EXPRESS yourself and RESPECT the will of the group
Here the visitor enters an enclosed room which has 8 life-sized soccer players with open faces. Every wall is a mirror, producing the illusion of an endless court filled with hundreds of players forming an infinite human network.
Visitors can climb into the hollow figures and look through their open faces, becoming the players and observing the panorama of the field and reflected images beyond.
Nacho Rodriguez Bach, Artist and Creative Director
Marcia Rudy, Ph.D., Science Writer and Program Development Consultant
Eric Harrison Chudler, Ph.D., Director of Education and Outreach, University of Washington, Engineered Biomaterials, Research Associate Professor, University of Washington
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Rocky Mount Children’s Museum
Jan. 26, 2013 - Jan 19, 2014
The Henry Ford, Detroit, MI
Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio, TX
Discovery Centre, Halifax
Discovery Gateway, Salt Lake City, UT
Orlando Science Center, Orlando, FL