RIOT! is an interactive, live-action film which uses facial recognition technology as the navigation method through a branching narrative, which dictates whether the player can make it through a dangerous riot unscathed. It combines technical and creative innovation, integrating various software platforms into a receptive storytelling experience in which the player’s emotional state is the remote-control for the story.
RIOT! is set in a stylised urban environment of brutalist concrete architecture and a dystopian feel. The participant finds themselves at the center of a political demonstration which has escalated into a violent riot with the object of reaching home safely. Along the way the participant encounters a number of different characters and situations where, depending on their emotional response, the narrative progress es down different paths.
The prototype for RIOT! was produced with creator Karen Palmer and in partnership with Brunel University and The National Theatre. It has been shown at the Future of Storytelling in New York, the Festival of the Mind in Sheffield and at the PHI Center in Montreal.
RIOT! was also recognised as one of Columbia Universities Digital Dozen 2016.