Etched in Time

by Andy Polaine on July 28, 2007

In almost all of the course on interactivity that I have taught, someone comes up with the idea of making a screen-based Etch-A-Sketch toy. They’re almost always rubbish because it lacks the physicality of the Etch-A-Sketch and the charm of that.

Etched In Time by George Vlosich III

All of which is a thinly veiled excuse to talk about George Vlosich III’s Etched In Time artworks that really take Etch-A-Sketch drawings to a new level. I find it impossibly hard to even draw a curve with an Etch-A-Sketch, let alone shading. Check out him in action on YouTube or his Etched In Time website

(Via Creative Generalist and PowRightBetweenTheEyes

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tim July 30, 2007 at 7:16 am

on the thinly-veiled disguise note, please elaborate more on “rubbish interaction ideas that keep popping up in interaction seminars”. it sounded so intriguing as an intro and i am sure we could all benefit from the most bizarre failures…

2 Andy Polaine July 30, 2007 at 9:08 am

Ha ha. You should check out Iain’s 7 Deadly Sins of Digital, Tim, it’s pretty apt for the business you’re in.

Maybe I’ll do one on interactivity at some point, but the number one rubbish idea is a screen-based version of a physical toy that’s really good already. They range from Newton’s Cradles (always a few of them each year) to the aforementioned Etch-A-Sketch. Unless the digital version brings something new to it (i.e., you can do something on screen that you can’t do with the physical toy) it’s almost always terrible because you lose the physicality.

The next rung down is almost always inhabited by ‘a game in which you can go shopping and select the clothes for the girl/boy and make them dance.’

I’ll have to trawl through my ex-student work to really find some, I must have screened most of them out in my mind.

The problem with all of these, incidentally, is that they’re lazy ideas and not thought through for more than the few seconds it takes to right it down.

3 Sam Bauers August 6, 2007 at 5:14 pm

It has to be said that the subject matter of the etch-a-sketch guy is pretty banal.

4 Andy Polaine August 6, 2007 at 9:48 pm

You mean you want him to be able to do shading with an Etch-A-Sketch and great art? Jeez… :-)

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