Library Games: Behind the Scenes with the Diamond Eye Conspiracy

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Beginning this Thursday, April 21, Temple University Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series presents a hybrid live performance and interactive game experience, right in Temple’s Paley Library. Developed by three local artists—Joe Ahmed, Arianna Gass, and Daniel Park—and in collaboration with Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, this hybrid work integrates elements of game design, physical theater, and dance and will have you looking at the library through different “eyes.”

The piece takes place in and around the library itself, and brings together theater and games in an active, public space. Daniel, one of the collaborators, finds the potential impacts of public play very exciting. “We get to examine the socially constructed rules that we’ve put on spaces, break them down, and decide which ones still feel important, and which ones are just silly. It’s especially great in Paley because while the ‘audience’ (meaning everyone else in the library) may not know what’s going on, they know there’s something weird, and it piques their interest, it gets them curious,” he says.

The creative team started the planning process last fall, and have been working on the project steadily since. Research helped them to “find artistic inspiration from the space the library, the library’s history, and Temple’s history,” according to Daniel. Consequently, Joseph Conwell’s “Acres of Diamonds” plays prominently into the performance. The team then conducted a series of written and in-person interviews with library community members, which guided them in the creation phase. Here, they started to develop games and scenes which they formed into a coherent piece. This program is the first of its kind at Temple University Libraries, and is sure to be challenging, engaging, and fun.

Are you ready to be part of this unique experience? The performances run from Thursday, April 21 – Sunday, April 24, at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM nightly. Register here: http://library.temple.edu/diamondeye/, where you will play through the first phase of the Diamond Eye game right online, and be immediately redirected to a registration link. Each performance hits capacity at 12 participants, so you will need to sign up ahead of time.

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