Hope currently doesn't work on iPhone, and you won't get the best experience on any mobile device.

It works best on a desktop browser, preferably the latest version of Chrome or Firefox.

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* Briefly...

'Hope' was built during the Culture Code 24 hour hack. It explores issues of child poverty by placing you within a day in the life of a 12 year old girl called Hope.

We wanted to put it in public view as soon as we could. There are many rough edges, but we think there's also a lot of power in the message, and value in the structure we've used to tell her story and try to make her real.

To get the most out of 'Hope', you should click on Hope's face in the corner of the status updates as they become stale. You'll learn something deeper about the real Hope.

If you have any troubles, please check the 'Known Issues' section below.

Please *do* get in touch through the link below if you have any comments, or would like to see Hope developed further - your feedback can help make this happen.

* Further Info

Culture Code was a 24 hour hack event (actually 23... hello British Summer Time!) produced by Codeworks to bring cultural organisations with data sets together with data-hungry geeks and allow some magic to happen.

We decided to steer towards somewhere atypical- to take some data and try to engage, inform, and tell a story... or maybe two stories at the same time?

'Hope' was the result.

We could only begin to scratch the surface within the hack, and there are a few things that are only partly built and are currently disabled - we envisaged the user receiving messages from Hope or her friends, notifications and maybe friend invites.

There are things we would like to improve: Developing the games into something more engaging, fixing the pacing, building triggers so you have to visit a game's page before moving on. There's also quite a bit of stuff you can't click that we could do something with, and the game integration could be tighter

We'd be interested in making it more interactive - perhaps you could comment on Hope's status updates and we could collate everyone's input? More social network integration could be interesting- to also explore a story evolving through Twitter, for example.

Ultimately, we were very interested in the idea of having the environment decay completely and have Hope evolve into a real human being by the end of the feed - for her to start as an avatar and connect into emotional reality.

It would also be lovely to have the user end up on a 'real' Facebook profile.

We've tidied up some of the interface post-hack, but the core remains the same.

There are many potential ways to push this project if we can gather interest and support.

* Data Used

  • Poverty data for Newcastle neighbourhood schools
  • Image media from Children North East
  • Headline statistics
  • Dialogue from user stories and theatrical work generated from this

* Known issues

  • Currently tested on the latest version of Google Chrome and Firefox. May misbehave on earlier versions, and Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, etc.
  • Lightbox for images sometimes misbehaves first time round
  • Hidden updates break occasionally, fixed by a page reload. Maybe when the user clicks on a thumbnail picture?
  • iPhone: doesn't work on iPhone 2G, possibly also more recent revisions?
  • iPhone/iPad: The games are written in Flash, and will not run on these devices.
  • Devices without cursor keys will not be able to play some games.
  • Some stats data that was being pulled live has had to be precompiled.
  • Some images (e.g. decayed background) take time to load in, and reduce the impact.

* Thanks

Thanks to:
  • The organisers of the Culture Code hack: Codeworks (esp. Joeli and Herb), Tyneside cinema (Mark and staff), Arts Council (Lara), and everyone who helped it run smoothly (Data Ambassadors, Staff)
  • The originators, contributors, and stars of the original Hope theatrical project, including Live Theatre's Youth Theatre and Helix Arts
  • The suppliers of our data (Children North East, .gov.uk)
  • The journalistic element (Christian, John, Martin, and the misc and many Twitfellows)
  • All the cultural organisations, artsnerds and datageeks who made the event so much fun.

* Supplementary Media

~ Core Team ~
Jeremiah Alexander · Amy Golding · Colin Oakley · James Rutherford
~ Significant Contributions ~
Becky McCartney · Emer McCourt · James Robinson

Please contact us for more info, or with any encouragement! :)

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