Posted by: Montola | May 18, 2009

The Go Game Hits Europe

go game 5While 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.

go game 7Quite 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).

In addition to rather typical spy, agent and classic game styles, there is also a community service type of game available for hit-and-run do-gooding:

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.

go game 6If you are interested in learning more about The Go Game, read Jane McGonigal’s brilliant papers:

Thanks to Ross Harmes for photos from a 2008 game played in San Francisco.


  1. […] even had info cards to be slipped to the unaware participants afterwards, just like the players of Go Game and […]

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