One Falls for Each of Us: The Prototyping of Tragedy
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Incorporating 20,000 wooden figurines, incense and dozens of leather hides, Brenda Brathwaite’s latest game is One Falls for Each of Us. Currently in development, it is the fourth game in the Mechanic is the Message series and chronicles the experience of the Native Americans as they walked and died upon the Trail of Tears. Like the other games in the series, Brathwaite uses the medium of the game mechanic much like traditional artists use paint to capture and express difficult events. It is a form of historical system design which provokes both player and designer to look and interact more deeply than they otherwise might. Influenced by the works of Jackson Pollock, Richard Serra, Marcel Duchamp and Gerhard Richter, Brathwaite’s works push games in directions not yet considered. From the game’s initial conception through to its current state, Brathwaite discusses the inspirations for One Falls for Each of Us and the series, recent iterations and expands upon the prototyping of tragedy.