Each floating balloon represents a profile culled from dating sites around the world. Harris and Kamvar’s interface searched for certain phrases and organized the data they assembled in dynamic visualizations of what people were seeking and what they felt about themselves. The balloons are coded by (admittedly limited categories of) gender and age, and each one contains a silhouetted video image; touching a balloon reveals text from the person’s profile. Different commands and interactions allow users to perfect and complete each screen as they explore the complexity and delicacy of looking for connection in the early 2000s.
Gallery label from Never Alone: Video Games and Other Interactive Design, September 10, 2022–July 16, 2023