My final project will be a digital game of Pictionary Telephone. It will allow users to translate sentences into pictures and pictures back into sentences using Java drawing applets and simple CGI forms and text areas. When one person submits a sentence, the next person will be able to see it and draw a picture underneath; then, the next person will see only the picture and be able to write a sentence about it.
The inspiration for the piece is the paper-and-pencil game of the same name. It is a game I play with friends in those dire times when we have nothing else to do. I work with web production, so I thought it would be fun to mix the two and represent the game online, publicly (and maybe endlessly?) playable.
An example of one sheet from a round of the game is attached at the end of this document.
The main page of my Online Pictionary Telephone game, at the start, will be a blank text field with a submit button. The instructions will simply direct the user to write a sentence in the box and submit it. Upon submission, the next page displayed will include the sentence and a java paint/drawing applet below, also with a submit button. The next person to view the page will be instructed to draw a picture of the sentence and submit it. Once the drawing is submitted, the page will refresh to show only the most recently drawn picture, and the next user will be instructed to write a sentence about the picture. The game will continue for a (maybe) finite number of turns and end with a sentence. After the last sentence is written, the entire string of messages will be displayed and saved on its own HTML page, going from top to bottom as it would on a paper page. I hope to use a free drawing applet and work out the CGI to allow me to do all this. I think archiving the projects will be the hardest part. I have seen similar sites that I will try to learn from, including drawingblog.com.
Part of the reason I love the game is that it thrives on making language function in ways itís not supposed to. By mixing the reading of images and the written word, processed by the unique imaginative functions of each individual participantís mind, the game involves many more mix-ups than simply mishearing does in a verbal game of Telephone.