Luis Rodil-Fernandez, Neil Mendoza, Kai-Ting Lin, Robin Gareus, Andras Sly Szalai, Thijs Gadiot

The Breedrs

Breedrs is an interactive installation running a social game created for a conference environment. It consists of an artificial life environment, a digital ecosystem, in which creatures survive in competition with other creatures. Each visitor to the conference has a creature of their own, generated from the keywords in their profiles in the PICNIC network. The visitor can then use her RFID tag to release the creature into the pond.


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The Breedrs is a social interaction game, designed for a conference-like environment. In it different interactions take place. Interaction between humans with one another and between virtual creatures that result from the interactions between humans.

The game is designed to be played in the context of a conference where there's sufficient time and interpersonal interactions to make the game interesting.

Players use their RFID tags to play with their creatures, in a way it can be said that the RFID tag contains the creature. Loss of the RFID tag therefore implies loss of the player's creature.

The interaction tries to link two people for the short time required to produce a new creature. Two people meet, they like each other's virtual creature and they let their creatures reproduce using one of the interactive installations. As creatures reproduce they become more or less fit for the Pond environment. As a player, your interactions with other players will determine every aspect of your creature. In a sense, the creature is the embodiment of your activity in the conference.

If your creature pairs-off with a fitter creature the resulting creature will be fitter and will survive longer in the Pond. This provides an incentive for the human breeders to seek out the alpha creatures, the fittest ones owned by other players. If you want to progress in the game you have to seek out a particular type of individual which is owned by a particular player physically present in the conference. These players will be in high demand and might be selective towards other players.

Creatures are designed to be rather neutral, but they have eyes, colors and unique features to inspire attachment from the owner. They move in primitive ways to give a sense that they are alive.

This work was developed from concept to final installation in four days, within the context of the Mediamatic RFID Social Hackers Camp in september 2008. It was developed by a team of five people including Luis Fernandez, Thijs Gadiot, Kai Ting-Lin, Neil Mendoza and Robin Gareus. This work was shown at PICNIC 08 in the Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.

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