While everyone else is worried about localization issues of pervasive games, Wink Back is actually tackling the problem, and actually exporting The Go Game to Europe. According Chris Olson, interviewed by The Guardian games blog, they have sent two experienced game runners over to London and just got the thing started. They have a lot of experience on touring with the game, they have earlier taken it to numerous cities from Canada to Mexico, and apparently you can order a game even at Singapore.
Money quote for The Game enthusiasts:
…a group from Microsoft came to us and asked to create a themed game in Las Vegas based on the film Oceans 11. We put together an event that included VIPs going undercover as elite international criminals, clues visible only by helicopter, meetings with sinister characters in the desert and limo rides down the Las Vegas Strip.
We also got some numbers:
In the US we’ve had more than 50,000 people play The Go Game since 2002. We plan on getting there in the UK and Europe within 5 years. Our game this Saturday will have 150 players. We plan on having 5,000 corporate players and 1,500 public players over the next 12 months.
Quite a bit seems to have happened in The Go Game since I last checked their website. Apparently, the largest game so far was organized in Dallas, with 3,500 players and 100 actors. They claim it was “The Biggest Urban Game in History”, which at least I can’t refute straight away (in the domain of local event games, thus discounting e.g. BotFighters and Mogi).
We took our classic Santa Monica game […] and added to it Charity Zones where players would perform a volunteer act in order to get the clue that would allow them to move on. Teams earned points for cleaning up the most garbage on the beach, being the most help in the kitchen at the shelter, scoring the most points in Boggle against the gray-haired ladies at the Senior Center, and delivering the foodbank care packages the fastest.
I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that I visited SF a month ago, and didn’t meet up with these folks.
If you are interested in learning more about The Go Game, read Jane McGonigal’s brilliant papers:
- A Real Little Game: The Performance of Belief in Pervasive Play (DiGRA, 2003)
- SuperGaming: Ubiquitous Play and Performance for Massively Scaled Community (Modern Drama, 2005)
- The Puppet Master Problem: Design for Real-World, Mission Based Gaming (Second Person, 2006)
Thanks to Ross Harmes for photos from a 2008 game played in San Francisco.