‘Touch Happiness’: The Allure of Social Media and the Cost of Staying Online

Touch for Luck is an interactive digital work that mirrors the mechanics of social media platforms designed to connect us to the screen through a game. By simply touching their phones, players navigate a fish in a virtual pond, interacting with other fish that are similarly guided by users around the world. The entire communal, dormitory pond appears every night on the façade of the M+, a vast LED screen in the museum building overlooking Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.

Created by Amsterdam-based media and design studio Moniker, Touch for Luck explores the perks of social media and the physical and mental costs of staying online all the time. The aim of the game is to get talismans by touching the phone screen and never letting go. “Disconnection itself has become an elitist privilege,” say Luna Maurer and Roel Wouters of Moniker. The longer players stay connected to their phones, the more charm their water avatars get. As the game progresses, a simple green fish becomes a sparkling focus of online attention.

Combining players’ personal devices with one of the world’s largest screens, Touch for Luck offers a mesmerizing experience and explores the absurdity and pitfalls of touch-driven online interactions.