Sunday, 14 December 2008

Last Will: Trick or Treat

Last Will from Hide and Seek on Vimeo.

Experiencing the the Last Will on Hallowe'en was a real treat. Unfortunately my schedule didn't allow to me write about it at the time, but it is never too late to spread the word about something this unique. 

Last Will cleverly blurs the boundaries between immersive theatre and computer gaming enabling you and a friend to share a unique and challenging experience. My friend and I were invited to participate in an exclusive preview designed to help test and refine the system as the game evolves. On October 31st, at the allocated time, we attended  Butterworth Rosenberg Solicitors (at Cordy House in East London) to discover the story behind the last will and testament of Thomas Madigan, an old man, whose extraordinary life experiences were revealed as we solved a range of challenges. 

While one of us played in the physical world, the other played using a desk top computer. If successful the virtual player helps the real world player progress through the game, but both have to work together to solve the challenges. The twist is that players cannot communicate directly conveying the sense of a magical, even mystical experience, that subtly echoes the storyline.  

This genre-defying protoype aka as a Multiplatform Immersive Theatre Experience (MITE) was created by the talented Punch Drunk crew, Alex Fleetwood of Hide & Seek (known for its annual pervasive gaming festival and monthy Sandpit events in London and Brighton), Interactive design collective Seeper, and HP Labs.

Whilst somewhat clunky at times, the experience transcended any bugs that will no doubt be ironed out by its next iteration. The contributing partners are to be commended for creating a new and exciting form of participatory entertainment with tremendous potential to engage audiences.