Escaping the Strange Loop Monika Seyfried

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Escaping the Strange Loop
06.Escaping the Strange Loop

Escaping the Strange Loop is an interactive, participatory experience based on models of future energy potentials.

‘Escaping the Strange Loop’, is a participatory interactive game experience that showcases diverse stories about the role of energy - specifically fusion energy - in near and far futures by exploring its unpredictable and complex impacts on real life problems. In the creation process we worked closely with physicists, economists and social scientists.

The installation-game uses the logic of three foundational scenarios about our energy futures. The scenarios hold storylines from 2010 to 2100 across varying degrees of environmental responsibility, energy technology investments and international cooperation.
The spatial design was inspired by the concept of a “strange loop” - which is a cyclic structure that goes through several levels in a hierarchical system [ref: Dark Ecology, Timothy Morton]. It arises when, by moving only upwards or downwards through the system, one finds oneself back where one started. Visitors moved in time scales and through societal levels while moving in a circular way around the room in a meditative, reflective way.

The game is designed for three people at a time. The trios become teams who collaborate, discuss and decide throughout the missions. They begin with an immersive onboarding, and then continue into the installation-game, progressing through three missions. The missions present different levels of society and time spans ranging from the year 2020 to 2100. After experiencing each mission, they discuss and decide which path they will continue to follow. Their decisions are fed into our system which outputs custom stories according to the team’s trajectory through time. At the end of their missions, they observe the result of their choices and reflect on how they impacted the world in each round, and cumulatively at the decision station. After completing the final mission and decision, the participants  will arrive in the year 2100 and be guided to the centrepiece, which is a planet hologram which visualise the cumulative effect of the players’ choices on a world map.

The project is part of a traveling exhibition highlighting the work of EUROfusion - a consortium of national fusion research institutes located in the European Union and Switzerland.


Project realised by CIID Research
Game Design: Annelie Berner, Joshua Walton, Raffaela Rovida, Cyrus Clarke Creative Technologist: Peter Kuhberg
Visual Identity: Calle Nordenskjöld


IxDA Interaction Awards, Shortlisted
2020, Escaping the Strange Loop

Core77 Design Awards, Speculative Design Award, Runner Up
2020, Escaping the Strange Loop

Core77 Design Awards, Design for Social Impact, Notable
2020, Escaping the Strange Loop

Core77 Design Awards, Strategy & Research, Notable
2020, Escaping the Strange Loop