Posted by Alex | Filed under Occucade
I’ve been struggling to write this wrap-up post of the Occupy Oakland Move-In Day event on January 28th. It’s almost five days later and I’m still absorbing media and other accounts from the day, people’s reactions and analysis, and reflecting on my own experiences from the event and its effects.
Though Move-In Day itself ran into complications, the OAK-U-TRON was a definitive success.
It worked! The wheels held up. The game ran on the ancient computer. The battery-powered system came together at the eleventh hour (literally) and despite being completely untested and unmeasured, lasted the entire march.
People loved it, and were amazed by it. Thousands of people turned out for the Move-In action. Everyone who saw the OAK-U-TRON couldn’t help but crack a smile. Who wouldn’t love a playable arcade game rolling right past them?
By the end, we had a decicated posse of OAK-U-TRON fans helping us push, navigating, scouting, and tweeting. And just as in real life, it turns out that the people of Occupy Oakland are a helpful bunch of gamers with the interest of the community at heart
I joked in a previous post about the circuitous path we had to carry the empty cabinet. Little did I know, the actual journey of the full machine (which was twice as heavy!) would be even crazier than the fictional tale. The OAK-U-TRON 201X travelled over two and two thirds miles through streets, up ramps, down elevators, and over bridges to just outside its intended location.
View Maiden Voyage of the OAK-U-TRON 201X in a larger map (WITH ANNOTATIONS!)
Unfortunately the Oakland City Administrator, Deanna Santana, made the decision that violently protecting an empty, unused, public building from people who wanted to open a social center to provide free services to the community was a larger priority than addressing the actual crimes committed against actual people in Oakland.
The OAK-U-TRON was not on the front lines of the march when the police responded violently. We ran into the sound truck at the back side of the building (Kaiser Auditorium) and the sound committee offerred to take the machine to their safe storage space, so it has survived to return another day. Though all the creators of the OAK-U-TRON made it out safely, over four hundred of our closest friends were unlawfully arrested later that night during a peaceful march (including said members of the sound committee), by a police force that cannot even follow its own policies.
The OAK-U-TRON 201X is a testment to of the city of Oakland. Unlike its sleek, modern Dutch sister and its well-mannered Canadian ancestor, the OAK-U-TRON is not pretty, but it speaks volumes of the resourcefulness and support of the community to be able to pull things together quickly when needed. It shows how elements of diverse sizes, shapes, colors, and backgrounds can fit together with a bit of work, hope and woodglue.
2 Responses to “Screenshot Saturday: The Maiden Voyage of the OAK-U-TRON 201X”
February 3rd, 2012 at 5:24 pm
Good work! I hope more game developers do things like this.
February 3rd, 2012 at 5:57 pm
Great job, you guys! This turned out awesomely!