The Come Out and Play Festival is a street games fesitval dedicated to exploring new styles of games and play.

Come Out & Play 2006 in New York City

Manhattan Story Mashup
Approximately 250 players will move around Manhattan, taking photos which match a given target. Targets are words from stories, written by visitors on the Manhattan Story Mashup website while the game goes on. The resulting illustrated stories are shown on large public signs in Times Square in real-time and on Manhattan Story Mashup.

Location: Times Square
#of players: 250
Duration: 2 hours URL: Manhattan Story Mashup

We will open a storytelling tool on Manhattan Story Mashup few days before the game event. Once the tool is open, follow the next easy steps:

  1. Choose a story theme you like.
  2. Form a skeleton for your story using sentences written by others.
  3. Modify sentences as you like until you are satisfied with the story and click publish.

After these steps the game engine will pick up nouns from your newly created sentences. Each noun will be dispatched in real-time to a random player in Manhattan who uses a camera phone for illustration. However the player doesn’t have to accept the word if she feels it is too difficult. To make sure that the taken photos actually correspond to your words, other players in Manhattan have to guess what the photo depicts.

Once a sentence has been illustriated succesfully through the above steps, it becomes available for other web storytellers to use within the storytelling tool. Thus the resulting stories are mashups of sentences contributed by various people and fresh images taken in downtown Manhattan!

These mashups get their world premiere on the Reuters Sign in Times Square, immediately after they are finished. Do not miss this unique opportunity to show your creativity in one of the most visible locations in the world!

In case you can’t come to Times Square, you can see the stories live on your J2ME-enabled mobile phone using Widsets. We will soon add short instructions how to do it.

Designers: Ville Tuulos and Jürgen Scheible of SensorPlanet, at Nokia Research Center

Manhattan Story Mashup is organized by SensorPlanet, a Nokia Research Center-initiated research program on large-scale sensor networks. We are interested in combining the physical and the virtual worlds by new ways of sensing. As it happens, lots of people carry a mobile phone always with them, making it a perfect platform for this job. This game is a cool way to test our tools and theories in practice with a large number of people.