Art project Plantlets is an incremental browser game. Its plot is based on the process of “raising” your garden-herbarium, which consists of scanned in high resolution dried plants. Each plant consists of several parts that open to the user one by one like a puzzle. This process starts immediately after the user registers and does not stop even when he or she logs out of the game. The game is endless and can develop without the player's intervention. New plant fragments appear at random intervals which can take any time period: from a few hours to several days. The user can speed up the appearance of new parts by focusing attention on the screen. The app`s eye-tracker scans the gaze directed to the screen, speeding up the process of plants` appearance.
In this project, we address the topic of attention exploitation by new media, in particular, by browser-based incremental games. Their mechanics are built around the manipulation of attention and curiosity. The ultimate goal of most of these games is to monetize the user's time by displaying ads or buying in-game currency.
We offer users to create an ever-evolving media object that is always ready to receive a person's attention without extracting hidden benefits. The virtual garden can be used as an object for meditation, training attention, and concentration. Herbarium plants as images for concentration and viewing, in contrast to game animation, are as specific and detailed as possible. They are removed from the flow of time, but they themselves represent fragile and short-lived objects — herbs and flowers.