Leon van Oldenborgh

Leon Van Oldendorgh creates both physical and digital interactive experiences that playfully disrupt the way people routinely interact with their environments, encouraging them to reflect on how their choices on behaviour within the experience relates to their actions outside of it. Through his work, he explores the nuances and complexities of individual human behaviour. He examines how people decide to interact with one another and how those decisions are influenced by factors such as technology, culture and social expectations.

Description of the residency

Offline is a location based AR-game and artistic research project by Leon van Oldenborgh that critically responds to common design and monetization practices in the location-based AR-game market.

GO: Offline is a location based AR-game and artistic research project. Offline is built to create awareness that companies like Niantic are profiting off of both user geolocation data and artificially incentivising players to visit paying locations. It hopes to contribute to the development of new and more ethical gaming practices.

GO: Offline includes an analysis of the game design and monetization models in the location-based AR-game market, which is dominated by Pokemon GO developers Niantic. This analysis provided insights for the development of a new game ‘GO: Offline’.

GO: Offline is a completely offline alternative that challenges the usual server-side calculated placement of collectible agents (e.g. pokemon) by appropriating the barcode system that is used by the Dutch lease bike company Swapfiets to identify their bike frames. In this way the main gameplay element of exploring an urban environment with friends stays intact, while also foregoing the need to collect any location data whatsoever. By making the explicit game design decision to use the Swapfiets distribution, the game also gives up any control over the placement of the collectibles, instead relying on the organic movement of these bikes. This approach results in a designed incentive to visit places like big bike garages, a place where you normally wouldn’t really hang out.

From 6th March to 5th May 2023.
This project was developed at V2_Lab for the Unstable Media as part of the Realities In Transition residencies, 2023.

Recent XR content