netPong, playing Pong walking with a laptop


The tilting sensor embedded in some of the latest Apple laptops has induced many projects focused on experimenting new interaction methods. netPong by Oriol Ferrer Mesià, is a software that allows to play Pong physically tilting the computerto control the paddle. Playing alone is the basic possibility, but it’s decidedly funnier to play with another likewise equipped opponent in a local network, moving around the room with the laptop firm in the hands. The laptop itsellf is then transformed in a control device. But there’s no external visible sign of that: its whole hardware seem the same but acts differently, and its complexity and multi-purposing are re-shaped on-the-fly by the software. A 21st century laptop is then used as a minimal analogue paddle from the late seventies and its ‘mobility’ attitude is not anymore related to the place of working but it is then emodied by the machine, exploited to play. The (universal) pong paradigm, as already investigated in the Pong Mythos exhibition, is based on essential rules being also able to instinctively activate our ancestral playing instincts. And a laptop game that have to be played walking here and there is something precious for our physical and mental health.