My Design Fiction from Playlab

Last semester I created a design fiction focusing on making people more responsible and accountable for gun use.

My design turned out to be a system that broke down the relationship between a bullet, gun, person, and a database of collected information. The goal was to please both sides of the issue, something that would help hunters and trainers while regulate inappropriate gun use.

I have always been interested in gun rights because people feel very strongly no matter what side they’re on. I’m also very curious about the humanity aspect behind guns, because a person’s view on gun rights gives insights to how they trust, their outlooks of human nature and also leads to sharing what’s most important to them.

BRAINSTORMING
The gun takes an image of both the user and what’s being shot at.

A gun can only be used by the registered user who bought it, otherwise it will not react or a gun can only be used by registered users in the state.
The gun will not allow criminals to use guns depending on sentencing and crime.
The gun has geotags on both the gun and the bullets. Records the trajectory of the bullet.

The Bullet and the Gun have a relationship where they can speak to each other.
The bullet tells the gun the location of the bullet, if the bullet hit anything, what the material it hit was and if there is any pulse information.
The bullet can tell if it hits a human pulse- if it does it calls 911 and reports the location and images and audio
What if the gun and the human were connected emotionally. Or the gun acted as “siri” – and could tell if there was malicious intent or unwell holder. Conversation is recorded.
What if the user had to reason with the gun and prove that their actions are necessary and the gun needs to be shot.

All of this information can then be sent to a database with a sorting algorithm that sorts the data for potential high risk situations: a gun being shot off multiple times, a gun being show that hasn’t been shot for several years.

Officers must also follow all of the gun policies so that no one stands above it. Like, everyone else their gun fires are also recorded and sent to the collective database, but flagged as police use.

The database could be even more structured. Categorizing why the buyer buys the gun and the uses for each shot. Each fire has to then be registered at latest 48 hours so that the database is organized by uses. And reason + location can also begin to alert the database.

I’m hoping to balance both pro-gun and anti-gun user’s to please both of them.

POSSIBLE FORMS
Police reports of snapshots of gun users and stories. Red flag Alerts within the database.
An informational pamplet/booklet that explains the gun + bullet relationship – trying to make each side happy
A guide on how to use the database.
A privacy statement (like the online privacy statements everyone accepts from apple, without reading)

________________________MY FINAL PIECE

VOICE
It was difficult to get the voice of the NRA in the image. As I looked through their site and asked people’s opinion on the NRA, I was surrounded by students who viewed them negatively. Their website generally attacked different policies and people who opposed their own opinions and everything was designed differently. Since they are supposed to support my piece, I tried to make the information and language as simple as possible just to state what it is and how it works, rather than having it speak too negatively or too positively, to not turn any viewers off, by the extreme nature of the language.

VISUALS
The goal for the visuals was to make it easy for viewers to distinguish the mood of the piece as serious and calm, from a far, as well as notice the subject of bullets. I experimented with different materials with different textures such as cardboard and paper. But when the material was too recognizable it became a little distracting, so I tried to make the paper look very simplistic and graphic.

System
I really enjoyed coming up with the system for this piece. It was fun to think about the different possibilities that we can do with today’s technology and then adding on things that aren’t possible but were curious possibilities with the goal of adding responsibility to guns. I enjoyed looking at it from the perspective of a user-gun-bullet relationship because of the phrase “people don’t kill people, guns kill people” because in the end should the user, gun and bullet all be responsible instead?

RESPONSE
People were rather entertained by the ideas and asked a lot of questions. There were a few things that I hadn’t originally thought of like what to do with automatic guns and possibly other weapons in the marketplace, which would be interesting things to work on moving forward. Reflecting on this project I think it would be interesting to do a piece on how this proposal would go wrong. Just because quite a few people were agreeing and nodding their heads in agreement, but as I said earlier this piece won’t do well with pro-gun Americans, so I would like to take an in depth look at all the problems that could arise and really speak to pro-gun Americans to find out what they dislike and why they dislike specific options in this proposal.

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