The Building Is…was a series of physical games centred around the idea of a sentient building being brought to life by its playful inhabitants. It was created as part of the Joue Le Jeu exhibition which aimed to showcase “new forms of games that are at the heart of the emerging golden age of creative game design” in Paris’ La Gâité Lyrique. Our design was grounded in La Gâité’s extraordinary history, from its origins as an operetta house through its ignominious 20th century, to its present day incarnation as an ultramodern cultural centre.
The Building Is… was conceived as a game that spanned every floor of the building. Players collected a scorecard and introduction to the game as they entered, and were invited to play so that the Building could get to know them a little.
In the four main games, players interacted with one of the Building’s senses : Listens (make a sound the Building wants to hear), Smells (propel a ping-pong ball along the contours of the Building’s nose so that it can take in your scent), Feels (touch the Building rhythmically) and Sees (help the Building see into places where its security cameras do not point).
After forming an impression of you through your actions in these games, the Building will tell you what type of person it thinks you are – and if you’re lucky enough it might let you into a secret room where its heart lies…