A Dérive in A Crossroad 一个十字路口的漂流故事
This is a exercise about
Dérive, which I leant from Guy Debord in his article Theory of the Dérive.
Dérive is a means of keeping game designers from wandering into their own field. That day before I had to submit my design assignment without any inspiration, I went out to the crossroad I have seen everyday to test the Dérive I had leant. It was a nice cozy autumn day in October 2020.
I was living in Beijing at that time because my VISA beening canceled due to COVID-19. Here is the crossroad nearby my home, where is on the northern boundary of Beijing’s Central Area, like a protein channel of cell membrane.
If you look at the map, it is right in the middle of the whole Beijing administrative division.
This crossroad acts as a fissure of the urban of Beijing. Several modern urban rules are embodied in it-
It is a Checkpoint of the central city, cars without the local license and freight wagons are not allowed to enter at day-time.
It is on the Dividing Line of house prices, families whose houses are inside the Central Area will bring much more opportunities for children for school entrance.
It is the Junction of residential area and work area, however, young salarymen cannot afford to rent nearby houses so they have to walk a long way and cross this intersection
Basic of its psychogeography is showing by the following picture-
This crossraod is full of life as a system. The potential differences throughout Beijing due to administrative and economic planning create a remarkable flow. And the crossraod made me want to go Dérive in because of this flow.
It is a wide and big crossroad that full of elements in its flow, such as pedestrians, motor vehicles, bicycles, electric bicycles, wild animals, roads, sidewalks, zebra crossing, greenbelts, signal lights, rraffic Camera…
I Dérived and observed the crossroad assuming that I was in several identities just in that flow.
When I was a young salaryman, I had been knowing all unspoken rules that can help accelerating through it to save more time for me. Such as the path cross the road in the following picture.
Although they are violations of traffic rules, it is safe and fast for them, which will help them sleep few munities longer in the morning.
If there is no owner around me, it will definitely be very anxious for me because of the busy traffic.
From my perspective, it was a place with a bad smell and a high risk factor.
Although there are many lawns around, it is hard for me to have a “rest” because of narrow fences around them.
A cat can hardly cross the road. At least for the cats I know - that’s my cat. She is a cat who is only willing (or dare) to stay in a safe corner
Fortunately, there are many safe zones for cats that may be unavailable for dogs
Birds occupied the entire sky but they can not land in crossroad.
Although there are many utility poles, they prefer trees by the road.
It is almost impossible to share the public area of crossroad with a bug except for the green area.
Sanitation workers will clean out trash bins and disinfect them once an hour because of COVID-19.
What’s more, the rain on the road will dry in half a day. For a bug, the difficulty of survival has increased.
It is difficult for a rat to run across a 40 meter wide road at one go.
There is no food in the sewer or road surface for a rat.
Maybe they can find food in one company’s backyard by the road because the people there planted some vegetables.
It will be easy for me to find clues because the entire area is covered by cameras.
“They acted like ants.”
“However, the pattern is odd that, in just an hour, the flow of people has changed from being all young people to all elder people.”
I was quite enjoying walking around to appreciate the scene that one of the most expensive places in the city.
This is a very comfortable place for me.
Surface of roadside is very clean. I can lie down and sleep well.
It’s warm in the sun. I can kill a long time.
As a game designer, I quickly designed a set of rules for the game based on the whole experience, which allowed me to enjoy the Dérive very much.
Rules I have played:
Mark the 10 characters with numbers.
Walk into the crossroad as a HUMAN with a violation of traffic rules, for example, running a red light.
Roll the dice while walking across.
Change my character as the number indicates immediately and then STOP.
To see what happen.
What they may thought or acted when stop is showing like this
This crossroad is designed, transformed and adapted by urban human.
Every one is forced to move when they set foot on the road.
Every one who’s part of the urban of Beijing would be anxious if he/she stop while crossing the road.
This crossroad is a spectacle of pressure from this city.