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.
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Why, oh why don't I live in US?
We better be creating some festivals of our own here in Sweden.
Ditto! Oh, oh oh Canada! I love you so, but why all the pevasive gaming in yonder States?
I know it's probably not possible...but imagine this: a game that takes place on the High Line (an abandoned elevated rail line in Manhattan that is either going to be torn down or turned into an amazing park one of these days [read more here].
Talk about reclaiming a public space!
ah! is it illegal to access that space? is it safe? i'll click on the link and check it out... I'd certainly be interested as long as my players didn't get arrested or maimed :)
It sounds brilliant, oh but to the innocent bystanders there in the park (or wherever?)... they may think the world has gone crazy (or will just run away from fear of being mugged). Afterall, it is NYC of all places where the people that do approach you generally aren't spreading good cheer.
Sounds like just what NYC needs a big dose of. ;)
You Go Girl...awesome idea. I invite you to learn Art of Wire Tree-making and randomly teach it to children as you go.(victims of war as well I'm afraid).
"To give a person a tree is to give them a present...but to teach a person how to make a tree is to give them a gift for life."
I don't think I know...I just know I'm thinking.
your humble servant,
How very interesting. I hope I'm not in New York on that day, though.
Great blog site and an interesting idea. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it could become a celebrated day entrenched in our culture and recognized as a statutory holiday...maybe that is a little ambitious!
I like the sound of that game. You should extend it to the subways.
I PLANE TO HANDE OUT HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT TEMPORAY TATOOES AND TELL PEOPLE HILLARY THANK THEM FOR THEY'RE VOTE'S.
That's a pretty cool idea. I hope you find some players.
Why don't you play let's feed starving people and stop killing them game instead.
EEks... what a scary game. We have enough of that in the world already. Why make such violence pleasurable? There is a student in my class who plays games that are violent so much so that he has a fascination with destruction and doom. YIKES and double YIKES.. nuff said.
Welcome to the blogger front page...
Aphrodite, i think the point isn't that it's actual "violence". The "assasination" connotations are more a way for people to think of the game. Perhaps i'm not explaining this well enough. It's more, methinks, that the focus of the game is kind acts, and the "killing" just is a different way of saying "making others lose the game". It seems to me to be a friendly game!
Congrats, Jane, on (as alex mentioned) getting Avant Game under the "Blogs of Note" on the main Blogger page! w00t!
Hmmm... Thanks for helping clarify Sir Quady! this game is actually a BENEVOLENT, non-violent version of the popular game assassins, where the in-game "killing" takes places with watergun attacks. (Which isn't really violent, exactly, either-- but when "innocent bystanders" are hit with water gun attacks, it's a little less socially pleasing than the random acts of kindness that this game will generate.)
I suppose being on the blogger home page means I'll have visitors who are totally new to real-world gaming and my particular take on it... that's cool, I hope they'll read enough to see that I'm making a different kind of game :)
A pacified "Series 7:the Contenders", cool.
Magano, you're blog looks awesome! Except it's not in a language i can read, unfortunatley. :)
And yes, real world gaming is awesome. Even though i've never really been involved in much of it... :)
Best idea ever! Can I copy it in Toronto?
I really need a game like that.
Yes, by all mean, let's play this in other cities. However I would definitely ask that you let me play test it and post the full rules first-- I want to make sure we give the game the best chance to work, and there are a couple kinks I'm working out. The main hurdle is distributing the secret weapons and achilles heel via SMS so that players don't gather at a central location (we don't want them to know who the other players are when the game starts) and tracking the point scored through kills as the teams combine (will use surrender codes also via SMS).
I'll post all the working details and web platform if we make one when it's ready!
I must play this game! What an awesome idea. I can't wait to hear how it plays out. You now have an avid reader. Mmmmm... games....
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