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Feature: Moving Words
Andy Campbell & Judi Alston

Nightingale's Playground

Nightingale’s Playground is a work of digital fiction divided into four interlinked parts: an atmospheric browser based experience; an interactive virtual book with pages you can turn with the mouse; a short e-book download; and an immersive real-time 3D game for PC and Mac.

The project was partly inspired by an old 8-bit computer game called The Sentinel – a unique and haunting strategy game devised by programmer Geoff Crammond that baffled magazine reviewers when it was originally released back in the 1980s. Hailed by some as proof that even computers like the Commodore 64 and Spectrum can achieve a sense of ‘virtual reality’, The Sentinel revolved around a tense and atmospheric one-on-one battle between the player and an unknown life-form that was slowly but surely taking over and enslaving the universe.

Using snippets of reviews and artwork from the original release of The Sentinel, Nightingale’s Playground follows the story of a teenage schoolboy whose best friend Alex – an oddball kid obsessed with pseudo-science and video games – mysteriously disappears leaving behind only a strange, insect-ridden journal of half-finished notes and sketches.

[click image to view show]
Nightingale's Playground by Andy Campbell

 

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Andy Campbell and Judi AlstonAndy Campbell is a digital writer who has been working at the forefront of digital fiction since 1994. He is the author of Dreaming Methods, a website described by the Times Educational Supplement as “One of the most impressive purveyors of internet-based reading… a semi-cinematic, semi-literary blend... a distinctive voice that couldn’t be replicated in print.” In 2010 he was a judge for Poole Literature Festival’s pioneering New Media Writing Prize, the first major prize in the UK to celebrate electronic literature. He is co-director of One to One Productions Ltd, creating and facilitating film commissions and multimedia projects for communities, agencies, arts organizations and charities.

Andy Campbell and Judi AlstonJudi Alston is an artist and film-maker who founded and is currently co-director of One to One Productions Ltd. She has a track record spanning 20 years as a camera person, editor, director and producer in commissions for: charities, television, festivals and arts organizations. Judi has an extensive portfolio as a project manager and producer of community arts and research projects, often working as an advisor and consultant to NGOs both in the UK and overseas.

 

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