New Media

New Media Projects

Reveal the Truth

The prevalence of fake news is becoming a growing problem on social networking sites. Therefore, Reveal the Truth wants to test your ability to judge a headline’s credibility. After playing Reveal the Truth, players learn that not every headline they see is true (no matter how many shares or likes). The game is played with headlines placed throughout the board and players deciding if they are true or false. They’ll flip it over and find the answer. If they get it right, they get to put a CAL marker, and if they get it wrong, and they get to put a STANFORD marker. The game results in players having to do their do-diligence and make sure they understand the context and read the actual article before falling for click-bait.

We wanted to make this topic fun and ridiculous, so we made it into a game! We felt like the audience would resonate with it more and the game would be more impactful. Furthermore, we incorporated a reward/incentive to for players. We made Oski stickers that were fun and cute that players could place on their belongings that would not only remind them of this activity, but also have others question the meaning behind the sticker and therefore spreading the importance of fact-checking! With lights and dynamic movements, our game was definitely eye catching and exciting.

After introducing the game to various students, many were not only stumped but were left flabbergasted that they were so out of touch with the news! Many realized that they relied on Facebook for news and were left with the urge to read more credible news sources.

The Northern Region

The goal of our project was to encourage people to interact with one another, particularly in an area that is commonly a thruway. To accomplish this, we wanted to encourage interaction by making participants exchange physical objects. Pokemon Go has changed how we interact with games. Pokemon Go brought a community together by an augmented reality. People were brought together by the game. However, people were not interacting with each other. This can be seen in major cities, like New York where people gathered in New York and did not communicate with each other. Thus, we wanted to bring a virtual concept to the real world and try to gather people to communicate with each other and not be on their phones.  As we grow as a society, we are more and more focused on technology. Our project tries to provide people ways to communicate with each other and not through a virtual community.  


Thus, we placed a real-life pokestop at North Gate on a Friday from 11am to 1pm. Pokestops are an integral element of the smartphone game called Pokemon GO, a game based on the classic cartoon called Pokemon. In the game, pokestops correspond to certain real-life landmarks where players can check-in on the app to collect virtual supplies, like pokeballs and potions. Instead of supplies, we placed a box of candy and little wooden trinkets with a pokemon lasercut onto them next to the pokestop. We instructed participants to take 2 items and give one of them to a stranger and keep the other.

Our Expectations:

At sproul there are always loads of people interacting at anytime of the day, which might be because of flyering, tabling and the Cafe. We expected that with the installation of the Pokestop people would have something to talk about at the Northgate. Sharing trinkets with people would be like a conversation starter for strangers. We thought of it as to be like a ‘pokemon lure’,  a meeting hub that would be attracting people towards it.

Observations during Installation:

When we installed the Pokestop, at the beginning, people would just look at the Pokestop and the sign. They would read the sign, come near it and peep into the box. the took lots of pictures of the Pokestop but would not touch it. People did not know what was in the box and hence were reluctant to put their hand in it. We observed that when people saw other people interacting with the box, they would do that too or if they saw people taking pictures they took pictures too. When people approached a stranger to give a trinket, the stranger generally felt very wierd, scared and reluctant to take the trinket or the candy. It was probably because gifting a stranger is an unusual act. People said “Why are you giving it to me?” or “I don’t wanna touch it”. 

Later to get more people interacting with the pokestop, we put some of the trinkets and candies on top of the box so that people could see what was inside the box and be more likely to take something from the box. But now, people started choosing which trinket they liked. They started looking for their favorite pokemons and had conversations about them.

Now that some trinkets were on the top of the box, people would take all the trinkets out of the box so that they could easily pick. They spent so much time choosing the pokemons that they forgot about the sharing aspect of it or had no time to share the trinkets. Older people were generally in groups and would be like ”Yeah, another pokemon Stop”. We expected people to know how to interact with the pokestop as we expected that everyone would have known about Pokemon Go. But we were surprised when a few people tried to spin the whole stand indicating they had no idea of how a pokestop behaves.


The user whom our team designed for is Christopher (Chris) Hunn, who is an advisor in the Computer Science department here at UC Berkeley.  We were really taken in by his interest in listening to and telling stories during the first interview, and he mentioned that he actually goes to story slams frequently and attends Moth events in the Bay Area.  Chris draws inspirations for his stories from everyday life, just as long as something intrigues him, and he constructs his stories through “shower conversations” with himself as well as writing them down in his journal.


When our team was putting all these “Chris facts” together, we gravitated toward creating something that was a bit tongue-in-cheek and humorous to match his witty personality, thus mini Chris and the Soapbox were born.  The intention behind this hyper-personal prototype was to create something that Chris can use to very quickly and easily record any thoughts while near his laptop, a personal item that he takes with him everywhere even when traveling.  We decided to make the container of the electronic a soapbox because of Chris’ history as an educator and storyteller, we want him to PREACH!  To make his soapbox seem more personal, we decided to draw little stickers which reflect his interests and place them around the sides of the box, to remind him of the different facets of his life where a story can be extracted.  The Chris doll is meant to serve as an audience for his stories until he gets the chance tell them at a future story slam, as well as a physical manifestation of his reflectiveness!

To assemble the project, first I looked at two tutorials to assemble separate circuits for the push buttons and the RGB LED. Then, I wrote the arduino sketch to turn on the LED to green when it is plugged in. When you press the recording button, it will turn the LED red and send a serial output to print the number 4. This is what the python script will be reading to turn on recording. When you press the playback button, it will turn the LED blue and send a serial output to print the number 2. The python script will then read this number to turn on playback. I wrote the Python script to read serial output using the PySerial library. And I used SoundDevice + Soundfile libraries to record and write the sound to a file. PyGame library was used to playback the wav files from the folder the script is located.