A selection of len's - games & research - from the archive.

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JUST PLAY 'CROSS-ROAD'    
CASE HISTORY -'CROSS-ROAD'


'Cross-Road' is essentially a 'psychometric test' which places 'ethical/moral dilemmas' before the candidate. Three sets of three cards progressively test the response to 'hidden' categories of 'Reason', 'Emotion' and 'Ego'. The candidate is invited at the end to 'justify' the choices made, with every effort being made by the 'assessor' to embarrass the candidate by questioning contradictions.

'Cross-Road' began life at Kingston University as an analogue game using nine printed 'playing cards'. It was used as a 'teaching aid' for undergraduate 'Visual Communications Courses'.

'Cross-Road' evolved into its present polite digital form in 1998 and was used as a, relatively trivial, 'Psychometric Test' to inform the selection process for candidates for 'sociological' research at Middlesex Polytechnic. It had a further function at that time, which was to enthuse and challenge students, in the Centre for Advanced Studies in Computer Aided Art and Design (CASCAAD), in the fields of game theory, the psychology of computer games, and critical theory. (As I said, 'relatively trivial' !)

Later, in 2002, at Brunel University, 'Cross-Road' was used to teach 'javascript' coding' and was incorporated into the larger tutorial, The Art of WWW Coding'.

'Cross-Road' was also employed in a research project in the Department of Neuroscience which was concerned with the functioning of the human brain, in particular 'how the ventrolateral frontal cortex (vlFC) was connected to other parts of the brain'.

The idea was: 'using the 'ethical dilemmas' generated by/in/while playing (such games as) 'Cross-Road', and employing fMRI scans, the activity of the parts of the brain associated with emotion (the ventromedial prefrontal cortex), were compared with the parts associated with reasoning (the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex)'.

At the end of the day, I have no idea whether 'Cross-Road' was actually used in the research, if the research actually 'went anywhere', whether I got any credit at all, and, from this distant perspective in time, who actually carried out the research, if in fact it was ever carried out at all! (Further research on this matter is ongoing.) But anyway...

'Cross-Road' was however, played extensively in tutorials in all the universities, analysed and scrutinised in lectures and gave rise to significant emotions, dispositions and loud verbal brawling in student bars and pubs. Some fun was had.
NOW PLAY 'Cross-Road'