Have you heard yet about the September 2006 Come Out and Play festival? It's the Woodstock of pervasive games. Get yourself to New York City and prepare to play an all-star lineup of real-world games.
Rumor has it that a certain avant gamer might be trying out a brand-new game.
Rumor has it that it might go something like this...
Cruel 2 B Kind
....the game of benevolent assassination.
Your mission: Stalk your enemies through Central Park* and kill them with kindness.
At the beginning of the game, you and a partner-in-crime are assigned a unique, secret weapon. To most, it will seem like a random act of kindness. But to a secret pair of targets, your seemingly benevolent gesture is a deadly maneuver that will bring them to their knees.
Some players will be slayed by a serenade. Others, killed by a compliment. You and your partner might be taken down by an innocent group cheer.
You will be given no information about your targets. No name, no photo, nothing but the guarantee that they will remain within the game boundaries during the designated playing time. Anyone you encounter could be your target. The only way to find out is to attack them with your secret weapon.
Watch out: The hunter is also the hunted. At the beginning of the game, you and a partner will also be assigned your own unique Achilles' heel. Another pair of players has been given your secret weakness as their secret weapon, and they're coming to get you. Anything out of the ordinary you do to assassinate YOUR targets may reveal your own secret identity to the other players who want you dead.
As targets are successfully assassinated, the dead players join forces with their killers to continue stalking the surviving players. The teams grow bigger and bigger until two final mobs of benevolent assassins descend upon each other for a spectacular, climactic kill.
Will innocents be caught in the cross-fire? Oh, yes. But when your secret weapon is a random act of kindness, it’s only cruel to be kind to other players….
* Various NYC game environments are being considered. Central Park below 72nd Street, Broadway between 42nd and 60th Street, a particular N train leaving from 42nd Street Station, and so on. Your suggestions and preferences are welcome!
+ And yes, "Cruel to be kind" was originally coined by Shakespeare. Hamlet says it in one of his lovely fits of (feigned?) insanity. I guaruantee Cruel 2 B Kind will be a game of much insanity and epic Shakespearean proportions.