Unravelled is an interactive alternate reality game, which is available to play online. In the game, you start using a new social media app, and find it to be unusually helpful as your friends have issues with various algorithmic decision-making systems they encounter.

It is part of my (Kathryn Blair’s) ongoing research into creating participatory art experiences that explore how our society uses algorithmic decision making.

The game does not collect IP address or location data from players. During the game, any time your data may be shared with others (for example, if you choose to give advice to other players), you can choose if you would actually like to do so.

At the end of the game, if you wish, you can participate in a research project associated with this artwork. Here is some additional information about the research.

Participants needed for research in participatory art

We are looking for volunteers who have attended this art experience to take part in a study of how visitors experience participatory art installations about complex social issues.

If you wish, you can submit your gameplay data record to the research team. This will include the choices you made in the game, start and end times, and responses you gave during them game. At the end of the game you can download this information, and submit it in a survey. The survey also has a few questions about your experience, and the option to express interest in an interview. If you have completed the experience and you wish to participate, you can do so here.

You can also just express interest in the interview if you don’t want to share your gameplay data. All questions are optional and voluntary.

As a participant in the interview portion of study, you would be asked to: 

  • Complete a questionnaire about your background and your experience with visual art.
  • Participate in an zoom-based, audio-recorded interview about how you experienced the work.

Your participation is any part of the study entirely voluntary and would take approximately 60 minutes of your time.  By participating in this study you will help us to better understand how visitors experience participatory art so that we can develop improved strategies for engaging the public with complex social issues using this method.  If you’d like more information about the study, please read the gameplay data submission consent information here (PDF), or the interview consent information here (PDF). If you are interested in submitting your gameplay data and you have completed the experience, you can do so here. If you are interested in participating in an interview but not sharing gameplay data, you can fill out this Qualtrics survey. If you express interest in an interview, the research team will contact you.

This study is supervised by: 

Lora Oehlberg – Professor
Faculty of Science, Department of Computer Science
University of Calgary

The University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board has approved this research study (ID number: REB19-0395).