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Dashboards for Pretending

I’ve been doing a bit of work around dashboards at Rattle.  Despite the interest in dashboards there’s precious little in the way of analysis of existing dashboards, for example car dashboards and how their patterns are designed for ‘blink’ interpretation and of course pretending.  However, I did come across this in the Nissan GT-R, a dashboard built by the folks that made Gran Tourismo:

There’s a video of it here too (about 1:30 in).

What’s interesting for me is that video game / platform gaming design is starting to permeate physical worlds (and there are few more emotive objects than the car) not necessarily because we’re increasingly wired to those screen based worlds, but because they offer a means, as Russell has said, to pretend, to play. The GT-R is a $60 000 super car, an expensive thing to start building childlike, playful experiences into.  But it’s highly unlikely that anyone buying this car will go near a race track, more likely they’ll trundle along the A338 in rush hour, so helping them to believe they’re a racing driver can only improve their enjoyment of the car.  If it was easy to get this data out of an engine I’m sure we’d have hybrid Wattson / Tom Tom style dashboards stuck to the windscreen of most cars driven by men with a mental age of 17.

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