I love making games for real-world spaces. And I love creating games that unfold as live events.
Many people know me for my research and my book, my TED talks, or my online collaborative games. But I’ve also made real-world games for public parks, downtown sidewalks, historic cemeteries, landmark buildings, city arts districts, public transportation, Times Square, and even the Great Wall of China. And the truth is: I like the real-world stuff way more than the online stuff.
I want to do of more of the real-world stuff, and I’m looking for a partner who can commission such a game.
- Do you have a cool space? It could be a building, or a park, or monument, or architectural landmark, or a public space of any kind. I will create a game for it.
- Do you have a festival or event that needs a big, amazing, extraordinary collective experience for hundreds or thousands of people? I will design an epic live event.
- Are you a city that wants to infuse a particular neighborhood with live, shared play? I will explore the unique affordances of the space. I will come up with something strange and wonderful for people to do there that they couldn’t do anywhere else in the world.
- Do you want to invent a more playful version of a walkathon, or overnight walk, or a marathon? Something physical, something that covers a lot of terrain — but with more curiosity, wonder, and play? I am super-interested in exactly this challenge: We can invent a new kind of fundraiser together.
I will bring hundreds or thousands of people together in the same space for an hour, or an afternoon, or overnight to experience something epic and unforgettable in the real world.
I will travel literally anywhere in the world for a juicy project. No continent is off-limits! The more inspiring the location or the more challenging the opportunity, the better! I am looking for one or two big projects to focus on in 2013 and 2014.
Some of my favorite previous projects:
Find the Future: We locked 500 gamers in the New York Public Library overnight to collaborate on a book together. Sunset to sunrise, and no one is allowed out until they write a book!
The Lost Sport: The year of the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, I traveled from city to city around the world — Vienna, London, San Francisco, Beijing, Bangkok, New York, Wellington — teaching thousands of players a “lost” Olympic Sport. Each city attempted to set new world records as players in other cities shared their best tricks and tips (and also tried to nab their own record!) We held the gold medal championships at the real Summer Olympic games in Beijing.
Tombstone Hold ‘Em: I collaborated with five historic cemeteries across the U.S. to hold special events where groups of up to 200+ each came to “play their respects”. For the events, we invented a series of collective rituals and a version of poker in which tombstones represent playing cards.
CryptoZoo: We created a version of “parkour” (urban free running) for non-athletic, non-daredevil folks. Working together with the American Heart Associatio, we created 13 imaginary animals that appeared on city streets to inspire playful running through every urban space imaginable. We even had hundreds of CryptoZoo runners out for a midnight run through Time Square!
Cruel 2 B Kind: We ran live games for hundreds of players co-located in Times Square and downtown San Francisco as a way to embed social play in urban spaces. Teams won by literally killing each other with (random acts of) kindness. Hundreds of other Cruel 2 B Kind events were run by others all over the world.
These are the kinds of things I love to do.
After a year of digital-only game design, I’m hungry for the chance to invent a new sport, or transform an abandoned building, or breathe new life into an underappreciated public space, or otherwise create an unforgettable memory for hundreds or thousands of people assembled in the same space.
Email me at email@example.com if you have a space or a festival or a building or a city and want to commission something extraordinary. I’m available to create games or experiences for 2013 or 2014.