Ruben & Lullaby

Erik Loyer

3 June 2009

Game for iPhone and iPod Touch

Illustration by Ezra Claytan Daniels

Ruben & Lullaby is a musical interactive narrative that tells the story of a young couple having their fi rst fi ght. Using motion and gesture controls, players can affect the feelings of the title characters, thereby changing the fl ow and ultimately the outcome of the argument. Shaking the device makes the character the user is watching become angry; stroking the screen calms the character down, and each user action has both a visual and a musical effect. Containing no spoken or written dialogue, Ruben & Lullaby’s narrative unfolds through the facial expressions of the characters, accompanied by a moody jazz soundtrack. The intent behind the piece is to use gestural and musical interaction to encourage users to take a performative approach to the experience, while still remaining aware of its narrative elements – in effect turning a story into a kind of musical instrument.