Interactive tug of war – an installation developed for the Playzone of the Millennium Dome in London, it thematicizes the relationship between human and computer.
The development of this installation’s interface was a breakthrough in the field of force feedback technology. In Tug of War, the player competes against virtual opponents selected on the basis of the player’s physical strength. On the Evaluation Level, the player is called upon to pull with all his might on a computer-controlled, pneumatically regulated rope. Then, the player can fight his way up the rankings level by level. Different characters symbolize the various levels of resistance the player faces. By means of digital video technology, actors are set within an imaginary landscape; they oppose the player as life-size challengers displayed on a video screen.
This installation constitutes a successful effort to allow for human-computer interaction in a very direct and natural way. The user behaves toward the machine just as he would toward a human opponent since the rope as interface and the force opposing him correspond to a real situation.