The Book Ritual: a Game About Destroying Books

By on January 15, 2019
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Alistair Aichison’s work consists of a narrative game played using a real book, a real shredder and an interactive computer installation, where an onscreen book talks about loss, but also encourages you to add your story by creatively modifying a real book.

The process involves cutting and marking the book, and even requires the user to tear out pages to put it through an actual shredder — this is meant to evoke feelings of grief and regret, ultimately leading to the formation of new memories.  

Ultimately the book should allow the player to reflect on their own experiences, and how they’ve been affected by grief, loss, and regret. Yes, I have things I want to say through the work, but unless I ask the player to bring in their own experiences, it’s just me talking at them. Your experience with this book should be a conversation. If the player feels like they’re caring for their book, drawing on their own personal growth to offer advice, or lending it a sympathetic ear, that’s a really powerful way to reflect on the ideas.

Control is accomplished using infrared sensors that verify page destruction, along with an Arduino that interfaces with the computer running this Unity-based game.

For further information you can watch the video below or visit the project’s page.

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