Alternative Reality Game
Is it possible to turn the whole world into a game?
And you are the main character.
Find the hidden clues.
This has long been an inspirational phenomenon for me. A very nice idea that feeds into that love of mine was presented by Gemma, who worked for PAN design. She explained their Project Raccoon City a Resident Evil Live Game. The player is you, in the real world. How Pan made it work:
1. let the player use his/her smart phone in the real world. they then see on their phone display zombies and have to complete challenges
2. guide the user and interrupt their game play with some live actors dressed as crazy zombies. they will need to run and find other players doing the same. they are now a small team and have to fight zombies on the open street together.
3. lead them into a house to complete a task, give them challenges inside like getting past the light sensors (of course some more bloody live zombies)
4. let the players reach a checkpoint and hand them live paintball guns. Now it’s time to get serious with the real zombies.
5. ultimately they will have to seek cover and find shelter behind a heavy door. They will find themselves in complete darkness. All of a sudden strobe lights go one and zombies come from every direction, barely even visible to the eye. Now try to survive. Good luck.
This is just a flavour of the live game that PAN design created. I love the idea and the concept behind it. It made me wonder if you could do something similar on a larger scale, like all around London. Players would use their smartphones with a specifically designed app to find hidden clues all around the city and solve riddles, individually and as groups (for more people interaction). To extend the difficulty of game play newspapers, websites and social media posts could be used as a tool for hidden messages as well. It would add more depth and to the game. Ultimately it could lead to a great treasure for the most dedicated players.
Could we design a game to connect the whole city of London?
Pan Design, Resident Evil – Live Game, 20 March 2012, available at http://panstudio.co.uk/folio/resident-evil-live-game/ accessed 05.10.2012