A new, innovative and creative way of gaming is taking over our streets. This new trend of street gaming is getting people involved and physical in the world of gaming. Now, this is not just your average kid’s game of football on the street or a group of teenage girls playing hide and seek on their local estate. This type of street gaming is a combination of multi-platform gaming through physical and digital channels. Currently, street games are created and used for a number of causes including advertising in order for companies to make themselves appear unique and of course, good old fashion fun! One company, in particular, Yello Brick, has been running for 5 years now and has won multiple awards including a BAFTA awarded to them in 2014.
Yello Brick offers companies a chance to change the way they connect with audiences taking inspiration from stories told and creating a tailor-made experience for specific audiences. With Alison producing at Yello Brick and Julian directing at Yello Brick they make a fantastic team within this new creative sector of gaming!
Having personally met Alison it is clear that she and the team are very passionate about what they do and certainly very creative and fun! She describes the core basics of the process of street gaming as being, “Research > Design > Test > Feedback” which is a really simple yet effective way of understanding what is needed for specific audiences.
In the past, Yello Brick have even created an “epic urban adventure game” right here in Cardiff! In 2014 the multi-platform experience Reverie was the game awarded a BAFTA Cymru Games Commendation for Technical Achievement. Reverie “was a pervasive street game which is a new type of event that mixes game, theatre and technology to create a unique experience for participants.” This was achieved through multi-platform storytelling devices where users and audiences were able to experience the story through “digital and physical channels.”. Below is another example of one of Yello Brick’s street games, ‘Eyespy‘
It is clear that this new form of interacting with audiences in a physical, fun, gaming manner is definitely something that has seen success, however, the question we must ask is, is this just a phase? Will everyone forget about it next year? Or will something more advanced come along? As we’re all aware the creative industries are forever evolving especially within technology. Furthermore, street gaming can be very expensive and will companies be willing to pay so much for just a phase or a game which wouldn’t last a lengthy amount of time?
Furthermore, it would seem that it must be a struggle to find the right location to create street games, especially in creatively booming cities such as Cardiff what with thousands of daily commuters making their way through the city potentially becoming a disturbance.
Overall, it is clear that street gaming is becoming an increasingly popular way of gaming and advertising for companies. It is fun, engaging and can be educational, however, it does have its downsides. For example, finding the space within highly populated cities such as Cardiff, funding as street gaming can be very expensive and also appealing to the niche audiences that are going to be willing to partake in street games. So we must once again ask ourselves, has street gaming forever changed the way we look at the world of gaming? Or is this just a phase?