2005 | SCOOT Camp, Newcastle

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About This Event (draft only)

Previously ‘SCOOT CIP’ and ‘SCOOT Fed Sq’, were highly mediated experiences designed specifically for groups of people to play.  These players would engage in a SCOOT event by following a series of SMS clues through a site in order to locate SCOOT carnival games. Along the way, the players would learn about familiar and alternative histories and features of the sites as part of the game mission. These events were designed to both reveal certain impressions inspired by the environments and to also challenge the set ways in which we may interact with them. These impressions and subversions were formed through an extensive survey of the people, places and things contained in the spaces. Although these SCOOT events are made up of a series of installed interfaces (games, animations etc) that took players on alternative quests through the sites, the players had no real agency over the paths traveled or the outcome of the game as they played.

As these SCOOT events were designed and installed, many of the processes and resources were refined and adapted for multiple developers to collaborate. As such it didn’t take much more work to create a series of interactive interfaces to share the resources and processes for developing and publishing a SCOOT event. The major steps in designing a SCOOT event were presented as a series of online design storyboards. Behind these online storyboards was the SCOOT communication engine that had been redesigned for public access. The end result was a simple step by step set of feilds for users to enter a series of located SMS questions and answers that once completed by clicking on the PUBLISH button,became available for anyone to play on their mobile phone.

This new SCOOT event was called SCOOT Camp.

To test and refine the new SCOOT LBG creation tool we hosted workshops during youth festivals. The first in Newcastle for the Electrofringe festival and again in Brisbane for the SOOB festival.

The important difference in the design approach is that the ‘players’ become co-designers. They are given the tools for analysing their location as a game world and then are shown how to synthesise this information into a playful located experience using the most basic mobile phones. They simply then enter a series of SMS clues and solves into their very own game database… and ABRACADABRA… they have designed a game that anyone can play simply by registering a mobile number on the web site and using this phone to follow a local experience designed by the workshop participants.

The general SCOOT WORKSHOP GAME PLAN

The initial idea was to describe the potentials of location-based gaming and then provide the processes and resources that may be required to

a. analyse a site to identify candidate nodes of interaction for game play
b. design a mission/narrative experience for navigating thru the space with an alternative ‘lense’
c. cooperate with other participants to link different nodes and interactions to design a broader experience
d. enter the data into a customised web app to trial their ‘experience’ on site using their own mobile phones (SMS) to navigate thru the space and interacte with the game narrative and other players.

It was our desire to get people interested in the online application we have built so they would later attempt to use it in other environments. The online interface has been designed so that a participant could log in from anywhere to submit a customised game experience to be played out with mobile phones in their own local/favourite enviironment. The system can then be set to send and receive SMS ‘clues’ and ’solves’ from any location at any time.