Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Chromaroma - Public Transport Gaming

What could brighten up the daily gray commutes back and forth between nowhere and somewhere? Well I guess a game coud actually, but card games are not a big hit during rush hours and playing on the iphone or DS is about as lonely as it gets. Lets play the system.

Chromorama is a multiplayer platform that does exactly this. It animates your bleak journey as a move in the game. The whole tube network i the borad and any tap in, tap out recorded with the oyster card is a move in the game.

After a test phase last year they launched a public beta version that is now open for signing up. So far the network for players was focused on the tube network. However this has been extended to include the London Bike Scheme. When ever you check in and out your bike this now also counts as game moves.

Screen grab of October player view3
Image taken from chromorama blog / The final view is an overall global view which give the player an overivew of all the team activity. I particularly like this one becuase it has a corporeal quality and the odd look of it. Like blood pumping around the heart of the city. The players powering a metropolis, a beast coming to life, like Frank emerging from the floorboards in “Hellraiser”.

Just recently the whole visual have been reworked and it looks juicy now. ALso the mission and activities the players can participate on have been extended it looks like a lot of fun. There is for example the 'Ghost Hunter' mission. Currently set to "Visit Becontree between 11:00 PM and 01:00 AM within 5 days Becontree is rumoured to be haunted by a faceless woman with long blonde hair, spotted on numerous occasions by the staff there. Go there late at night, and hope you don’t see her…"

Screen grab of October player view3
Image by wearemudlark / Screen grab of October player view3.

In a sense the whole of the public transport network could become a playground and each yellow tap in point a gaming button. Commuting is about to become fun and tfl wil now make your day rather than ruin it. With this move to incorporate a fun aspect, the perception of routines is transformed and a different kind of motivation can swing the direction.

This is to some extend the vision of 'You Are the City' put into practice. The 'user' becomes a 'player' in the sense of an actor. This change of role definition probably makes the whole difference. Of course aspects of size and relationship help with this one.

You got the taste? Sign up HERE.

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