Final Project Proposal:Prisoners’ Dilemma

Alix and I are hoping to work on a project about the Prisoners’ Dilemma. We will create a prototype that simulates the prisoners’ experience. The audience will learn about human behavior-even when it is in the prisoners’ best interest to help each other they may also try to help themselves, thinking the other person won’t rat them out.  It will be interactive, we will choose members of the audience to simulate the experience. The users will choose to remain silent or rat the other person out, independent of the other user. We plan to use Arduinos to take in the users’ input using buttons. Our design is similar to the Exploratorium’s 2-way water fountain, where the users choose to give each other a sip or squirt of water. You can see the exhibit here:

The easy version would be using candy to simulate reward or penalty. The clever version would be using computers or Ardunios. The advanced version would be an entire scheme of actors pretending to arrest and interview witnesses. This would be closest to the real situation since the prisoners would think that they were really in jail.

Alix and I both are designers, programmers, and artists.

Here is a diagram I created:


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