Starling

Howard Hardiman is an artist based on the Isle of Wight. He is the creator of the Badger and The Lengths comic books and the writer of Deeds Not Words.

His work on storytelling and mythology resulted in a research residency for Brading Roman Villa.

He lives with a dog and chronic pain.

This game was made using Twine, an open-source storytelling tool and with patient support workers and a measuring wheel.

The title refers to the arbitrary distance in assessing disability, where if you can move more than twenty metres, you lose eligibility for the most important government mobility allowances.

In the game, you're assigned an unknown amount of health which is spent or conserved by your choices, so playing the game more than once yields different results if you're having a "good day" or not.

The story takes place at twenty metre increments along the seafront at Clarence Pier in Southsea. Twenty metres would take you from the gate of the hoverport to the bus stop outside, but isn't far enough to get you to the front of the bus to board. It's an arbitrary, painfully short distance.

However, if you try stopping every twenty metres, even for twenty seconds, it seems you discover and experience your surroundings in a way that you'd otherwise miss.

The Twenty Metre Rule game has been produced for Art Space Portsmouth and Shake Culture Works as a part of a digital artist in residence programme. We are very thankful to Arts Council England for their support in making this possible.