SFZero is one of those web sites that immediately makes you want to try the idea here. It is on-going game played out across San Francisco by anyone who wants to register with the SF0 web site. Members of the site create tasks for other members to complete. As I write this, the latest task is Seed Bomb: “Find an abandoned lot. Seed-bomb it, preferentially with seeds for fruit trees. Nurture it in secret for at least two weeks.” Others include “Enter a secret place”, “Create a public art installation that interacts with a surveillance system” and “Document something you are prohibited from documenting”. There are about 30 or so active tasks at any one time. Completing a task requires documenting it with a narrative, photos or video (the documentation is called a praxis in the game), and each task is worth points, from 5 points for finding some things you can run through (completed by 40 so far) to 400 for faking your own death (not yet completed by anyone).

Vectors of desire at around 13 for Burn Unit
Vectors of desire at around 13 for Burn Unit

People seem to find the site serendipitously; I came across it by following up an image from the task “Make a map of something that does not exist physically”, which led me to the praxis entered by Burn Unit. He chose to map his desired travel over the years of his life. He made six maps, one each for various stages in his life, each providing vector’s from his location to where he wanted to go. Only in a final map does he overlay the vectors onto his world map. Without the geographic features which underlie the vectors, each one has a strong dynamic of its own. At 13 there are many lines shooting off in multiple straight directions, while at 25 they have become fewer, more focused on fewer parts of the globe, and have begun to including lines that bend and turn.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ways we have of mapping our journeys (through life, the world, through games, through work). This strikes me as one of the more dynamic imaginable. It provides a nice illusion of Certeau’s definition of space in The Practice of Everyday Things: “A space exists when one takes into consideration vectors of direction, velocities, and time variables. Thus space is composed of intersections of mobile elements. “

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