City Becomes Interactive Gaming Experience

City Becomes Interactive Gaming Experience

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You can talk to your lamppost, your park bench, your storm drain, and they all talk back to you.

Bristol's Hello Lamp Post! invites you to participate in the city's secret conversation. Talk to your lamp post by texting it Hello; it could say almost anything in reply, but those who participate in the city's latest game will be told Bristol's secrets.

The rules are simple. Each object has a code, which the city normally uses to identify individual items, for repair and upkeep purposes. That code is posted directly on the object, be it bollard, storm drain, bench, or whatever. You send a text with Hello, plus the name of the object, and its code, to that object, and it will send a text right back to you. Maybe it will just complain about the weather - always a popular British pastime - or maybe it will say, well, whatever else is on its mind. Long term players learn secrets about Bristol, sent in texts written by the city direct to them.

The game will play out during summer 2013 in this historic UK seaport first, before going on an international tour. It was put together by design studio PAN - inventors of, among other things, a zombie defense laser trap - as part of a competition in which 93 contestants took part. To the winner goes 30,000, to help it put the game together.

"Hello Lamp Post! stood out with a potential for both art and play using existing urban furniture," says competition judge and Google Creative Director Tom Uglow. "It points to a future made up of the physical objects already around us, the 'internet of things', and the underlying complexity is made simple and easy for people by just using SMS for this project."

Bristol, eh? Could be nice in the summer, and I'm told it has very friendly bus shelters.

Source: Watershed

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I wonder if I can get the codes and message a sewer cover from overseas....

The ONE time I go off my meds and someone makes a videogame about it.

Are these text messages costing money? Could be a few angry parents around when their kids go haywire talking to their good friend, Mr. Rubbish Bin.

This truly makes me proud to be British. What a nonsensical yet excellent idea.

Hmmm, sounds like your typical ARG scavenger hunt, albiet for more casual folks.

It's an interesting idea, and I could see it having potential if someone ran with the idea.

That said, the cost of texting also entered my mind. Truthfully until they remove a lot of the greed from mobile communications networks it's always going to limit this kind of thing. A more interactive infrastructure could be used for a lot of things, but not if it costs you money every time you try and use it.

Consider also that while the project has a budget of 30k pounds if I read that correctly, there is also the question of how much the town is going to pay for the automated texting. If people pay to send the messages, and the town pays to send them back... well that could potentially go well over budget, with the only winners being telecommunications providers.

DVS BSTrD:
The ONE time I go off my meds and someone makes a videogame about it.

Tell me about it.... Warning,if your mailbox starts talking to you without the use of yuor phone, please seek a medical professional immediately. LOL

Bristol's text message rates just shot through the roof.

Karloff:
Bristol, eh? Could be nice in the summer, and I'm told it has very friendly bus shelters.

I wonder if you can talk to those as well. Oh the horrors they could tell!

Ah man...

I wish the U.S. had talking lamp posts and mail boxes.

The British get all of the cool stuff. :(

That is the weirdest thing ever, but I love it.

If there was a talking lamp post and mailbox near where I live I would use that constantly. Just imagine all the stories it could tell, and the unspeakable horrors it had to endure!

It would be glorious! :D

Can you imagine the dystopian future possibilities if this becomes a widespread thing (smart objects)?

Graffiti spray painted on the floor near a lamppost "This one LIES!"

Chalk markings in neat rows down the wall "Always watching, always watching, always watching, always watching, etc"

Painted on a nearby alley wall "You are not safe! They are listening, they see you, run!"

Slightly hidden, peeling, stickers on nearby surfaces saying talk to X postbox and ask for "Dave" for all your non-prescription pharmaceutical needs.

Underground clubs with directions given to those saying a certain code phrase to a smart object.

Not sure what to think of this. My toilet talks a lot of crap.

As a resident of a Bristol suburb, I can tell you those bus shelters would be saying " OH MY GOD! STOP BURNING ME! "

Perhaps it's supposed to stop chavs from vandalising everything by humanising their victims.

Who am I kidding? Chavs don't feel empathy.

AdamxD:
This truly makes me proud to be British. What a nonsensical yet excellent idea.

Ooh, this is the perfect opportunity for me to finally use

neonsword13-ops:
I wish the U.S. had talking lamp posts and mail boxes.

The British get all of the cool stuff. :(

You decided you didn't want to be in our Empire, so now you don't get to play with our toys.

How much are you willing to bet that people will start asking if this just valve's latest ARG...

TrilbyWill:

AdamxD:
This truly makes me proud to be British. What a nonsensical yet excellent idea.

Ooh, this is the perfect opportunity for me to finally use

neonsword13-ops:
I wish the U.S. had talking lamp posts and mail boxes.

The British get all of the cool stuff. :(

You decided you didn't want to be in our Empire, so now you don't get to play with our toys.

Are those martini glasses full of gravy? That's super british, especially if they came with mini yorkshire puddings on a cocktail stick instead of an olive...

Back on topic, it seems like a pretty weird idea but I wouldn't call it a game. More a great excuse to get people sectioned by accident and get some cash from text message charges.

HOw exactly does one text a lamppost? they have a numbers for lampposts listed or something?

Also, WTFBBQ idea. now i realize there are some people obsessed with seeing robots everywhere, but seriously?

TrilbyWill:

neonsword13-ops:
I wish the U.S. had talking lamp posts and mail boxes.

The British get all of the cool stuff. :(

You decided you didn't want to be in our Empire, so now you don't get to play with our toys.

Best. Response. Ever.

Sounds like a fun idea, but being able to talk to letterboxes doesn't make me want to visit Bristol...

exp bonus for getting mugged at night...

Strazdas:
HOw exactly does one text a lamppost? they have a numbers for lampposts listed or something?

Also, WTFBBQ idea. now i realize there are some people obsessed with seeing robots everywhere, but seriously?

As the article says, lamposts and the such have a unique code to identify them and you text that code to a certain number (the same number for everything) and make a new friend.

Ooh, nice.
I'm a little bit surprised that it isn't Japan doing it.

CriticalMiss:

Strazdas:
HOw exactly does one text a lamppost? they have a numbers for lampposts listed or something?

Also, WTFBBQ idea. now i realize there are some people obsessed with seeing robots everywhere, but seriously?

As the article says, lamposts and the such have a unique code to identify them and you text that code to a certain number (the same number for everything) and make a new friend.

the article said that they all have unique numbers that should be in a message, but nothing else.

 

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