Boredom killer multi-player game
Duration: 5 hours
Presentation: 5 minutes
Other competing participants at the Bann New Media Center Interactive Screening 06, Susan Kennard, Fiddian Warman, Daniel Canty, Jan Christoph Zoels.
At the airport, you can eat, shop, put your kids in the playpen, pray in the prayer room, play arcade games, or buy medicines. Finally, yet importantly the WIFI setup allows you turning the waiting time into a “valued” time to do business. The waiting lobby is a gallery of personal devices to escape from the boredom. There are analog devices such as books, magazines and newspapers. There are also digital devices such as laptop computers, mobile phones, iPods and portable gaming devices.
People will do anything to stay in their own bubble. . .In their own lonely bubble to kill the boredom however they can.
Stranger says turns this waiting time into a social time by letting people virtually encounter other people waiting in the same space and time. The goal is to connect all the personal space bubbles together through a simple game only available at the location.
What it is
Stranger says is a multi-player Simon says game that can be played on any wireless network enabled device in the airport lounge. Simon says is a memory game where you repeat a specific pattern produced by another person. If you fail to repeat, you lose. If you memorize properly and repeat, you win. In Stranger says,unlike the traditional game, you create the pattern and send it to another person.
The multi-player game relies on its universality and simplicity to attract a wide audience for a very brief moment. Stranger says explores the mix of game play and communication between strangers.
How it works
Players sign on to the Stranger says by giving their flight number. Once the flight number is entered, you play a very short game that will test your reflex. The result is translated as the screen identity in the buddy list called Stranger list. The screen name is an optional feature. In the stranger list, your virtual presence character will change overtime. It becomes smaller as you approach your boarding time. Therefore, Stranger list is a general ambient indicator on how soon you will be boarding to your flight and see how many people are in the similar situation.
The core game play starts by picking your opponent within the Stranger list. You create your Stranger says sequence by combining the four keys on your device and send to the opponent of your choice. When the opponent- stranger accepts, s/he plays the sent sequence once to memorize it. The game is to respond to you by recreating the sequence in real-time. Players take turn to exchange back and forth the sequence. They can also send during the play emoticons to each other as a form of encouragement or teaser.
With a tighter security control, and ever growing air traffics we are obliged to spend increasing amount of times at the airports. In order to improve the service quality of airport, Stranger says is provided as a free courtesy service by the collaborative effort of the wireless network providers, airline and airport service companies. The service is an opportunity for other businesses to use it as a branding space.
The game play has a stress reducing effect to the airport users, therefore an added benefit for the transport companies to improve their service design. The Stranger list is indeed an ambient flight information tracker that is useful and playful. Moreover, the game leaves the door open to turn the waiting lounge into a virtual social lounge.