Friday, March 6, 2009

Lost notes

I found a folder of notes I took a few months ago on Big Games and promptly forgot about. We have a new director of career services who seems to be very interested in some of my gaming ideas. We are thinking of putting a "big game" program together this summer. It would be aimed at freshmen and sophomores and the goal would be to get them to learn a little big about career planning, and to meet key people. I don't know what any of this will really look like, but I'm excited to try it out!

So now that I have a more concrete context in which to think about Big Games, here are some of my lost notes.

Silliness is an important part of Big Games. You can see that displayed in the Pac Manhattan pictures. Players had to gather materials in a neighborhood while being chased by ghosts (a.k.a. people wearing colored garbage bags). Some other successful programs were live Pong and using aspects of children's games like players being frozen if they're hit by a ball. The whole city of Minneapolis got involved in B.U.G., which had a goal of getting average citizens to notice urban planning.

Along these lines, Juniata College has a campus-wide Monopoly game where teams of players dress up as pieces, the dice are huge and made out of foam, and everyone communicates over walkie-talkies. It was probably fun to play, though not terribly fun to watch if you didn't know the people involved.

I don't really understand alternative reality games (ARGs), but they keep popping up in my reading. One example is The Beast which was part of the promotional campaign for the movie A.I. Wikipedia has a very nice explanation of this particular ARG under the Plot heading.

Journey to the End of the Night was a version of zombie tag. The proof that you went to the places you were supposed to was taking a picture of yourself there.

Find normal activities and give them goals. Come up with simple ways to track progress (like the pictures I just mentioned).

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