Normal Procedure is a web-based pseudo-game that roams in the bureaucratic realm. Its raison d’être is to narrate the cumbersome experience when faced with such an engagement. The environment and the interactivity manifest themselves as metaphors of bureaucratic elements. In this, the pseudo-game does not offer a final state of win or loss, therefore, possibly the only foreseeable reward the player would attain is to be able to go about their business.
“Paperwork is designed to be maximally simple and self contained. Even when forms are complex, even bafflingly complex, it’s by an endless accretion of very simple but apparently contradictory elements, like a maze composed entirely of the endless juxtaposition of two or three very simple geometric motifs.”
The gaming environment reserves the right to be inaccessible outside of the predetermined timetable. The esoteric clock defines the office hours within which the pseudo-game is at service.
The player perpetually encounters an evasive and elusive behavior.
The pseudo-game offers a selection between two Bureaubots with no particular distinction from one another. These two act as one’s legal representatives within the bureaucratic domain, except, without the high-level discretion one would usually expect from such entities. Here, R2R and JMIA are in commission to make every detail of one’s individual case public on social media.
The case assigner is the tool which is responsible for the assignment of a designated case unique to the player. At the end of some meticulous calculations, the player is assigned a case in one of the questionable departments such as ‘Department of Reasonable Outbursts’, or ‘Department of Mediocre Breakthroughs’.
In the main game window the individual case assigned in the previous step is visually translated as the initial paperwork cluster that each player would proceed thereon. To interact with their personal case, within the bureaucratic landscape, the player uses the file cabinet. Through it, they are able to push papers within the department internally or externally such as searching for medical help, or suing the department in question.
The introduced modules autonomously decide on a path to their target location. Basing itself on the idea that ‘paperwork creates more paperwork’, the modules have a tendency to self-replicate, thus, exponentially making it harder to find their intended path within the more and more populated cluster until the point of complete occlusion.
When being exhibited the project made use of 36 hand printed ‘Project Request Form’s with 36 different variations and a ballot box so as to confirm individual will and commitment on the part of the audience for the sake of accessing the pseudo-game.
Normal Procedure is mainly programmed in JS using p5.js library. The source code can be accessed at https://github.com/katotopark/normalProcedure.