Bucky's Animal Spirit is a public intervention disguised as an ATM Machine installed surreptitiously in a downtown office building... next to an actual ATM.
I installed this video game in a Troy, NY downtown office building on May 1st 2009 hoping people would think it was an actual ATM machine. I was quite pleased to see they did not want to punch my face off when they realized it was not an ATM at all, but an arcade game where they help "Bucky the Beaver" save money.
People were not only amused, they started telling their co-workers and by the mid-afternoon people were coming down just to play the game.
Earlier that day, a woman suspicious of my ATM called the building's management to check it out. They came down and were pretty amused by the whole thing and actually gave me permission to keep it going as long as I wanted. They even told me I should take it home at night as it might get stolen otherwise. Sometimes it really is better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.
Public Interactions - from the iSight in the ATM and my video camera.
A person inserts their ATM card into the machine expecting the typical ATM transaction screens. Instead they are presented with my video featuring Bucky the Beaver lamenting his financial troubles in today's economy. The user then plays a short side-scrolling video game, also created by me, to help Bucky get to the public library and dodge attacking satellite television receivers. The average American spent over $800 in in-home entertainment last year. You could save all of this money by using the public library.
This screen capture video is what the user see's upon inserting their ATM card.
Construction of the ATM
Construction of the ATM is pretty straightforward.
The Game Interface
- $3.50 panasonic card reader from AllElectronics
- an arduino to read when the card reader throws the "card inserted" pin high and trigger keys for "New Game."
- a gutted silicone roll-up USB keyboard controller. for the up, down, left, right, jump, and fire buttons.
- a mac mini with an isight for the game and camera recording functionality
Photos of the kiosk construction.