The Glass Beat Game is a homage to Hermann Hesse’s book “The Glass Bead Game” in which a glass bead game is closely related to music making. Inspired by the novel, we wanted to build a game in which players can make music by putting marbles on a game board. The Glass Beat Game is an instrument for simple music making and an exploration into the relationship between playing board games and creating music. In our glass beat game, the rules focus on topics like sound, music, spatialization, hearing, psychology, tactical behavior and synesthesia. The music is created by playing the game — the sound is shaped by both by the placing/position of the marble on the board and by the characteristics (transparency) of the marble itself.
The Glass Beat Game was realized by Alwin de Rooij, Hanna Schraffenberger and Arnout Terpstra in the ‘Hardware & Physical Computing’ course of the Media Technology MSc programme at Leiden University.