Media Technology MSc

OutRandom (2007)

OutRandom Everyday we encounter many unpredictable and seemingly random events, structures and processes. Most of it takes place in the world surrounding us: the shape of clouds, the snow on your TV-screen, the pattern of raindrops on the pavement, or next week’s weather. Because of the many factors that influence processes in nature, natural elements often show jittery shapes and small differences between them. The opposite seems to be the case with human beings: people are not good at acting completely unpredictably. And why would they? Random behaviour is good for nothing. Our whole life we learn to use rules and strategies; that’s a specialty of humans. Playing games is no exception. We follow the rules and train ourselves in thinking strategically to become as good at the game as possible. OutRandom is a game that turns the situation around: the only task for players is to push the buttons in an order that’s as unpredictable as possible.
The player with the most random behaviour wins the game.
The game is played simultaneously by maximally three players on a wooden ‘arcade' style machine, and is controlled with two push-buttons per player. A computer program analyses the randomness of the bit sequence generated by each player, using statistical analysis methods. In the game a player's randomness score is transferred to creatures who fight each other on a large projected screen. OutRandom shows that acting randomly is a skill that people can train and that’s very suitable for competition. It challenges the players to think of diverse strategies for solving the task of being random. OutRandom was exhibited as part of the Discovery 07 Festival in Amsterdam, organised by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Also it featured on the Off-Corso "Crossmedia Storytelling: Messing with the Narrative" event in Rotterdam (2008). OutRandom was exhibited at the Friday Night programme of the Van Gogh museum on (March 2010) Outrandom website