CIRCA:Fringe Festival


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Fringe Benefits (working title)

The major focus of this app will be to serve as a recommendation service to both experienced and novice Fringe patrons. Game play will take place in one of two ways: players can download the app to their smartphone or they can approach a designated Fringe volunteer who is equipped with a unique version of the app on their phone. In both cases pressing a “What’s Happening Now?” button will generate a suggestion or series of suggestions in the format of a spinner wheel (divided by theme, audience, involvement level, etc.) of things they could do at that moment or in the near future. These suggestions could include visiting a specific vendor, attending a show that is starting soon, watching a street performance, getting a drink at the beer tent, or other tips and events. For players using their own phone, they will be presented with a suggestions (or suggestions) and will be free to act on them or to spin again. Players who approach a Fringe volunteer will see their spin registered on large data walls throughout the Fringe environment which will draw the attention of other potential players. When someone who has spun the wheel (either on their phone or with the help of a volunteer) and has completed a suggested task they will receive a pin or button with the “I got lucky at the Fringe” on it as a reward. Every X number of players will automatically win a prize (suggestions are coupons for local merchants, free show tickets, a line jump pass for best seats, etc.)

    • perhaps we could have different button designs based on different challenges or dates (etc) to encourage collecting of buttons & repeated play

Experienced and knowledgeable Fringers are able to suggest additions to the wheel results by Tweeting or texting their suggestions to a specifically crowdsourced suggestion wheel (the best suggestions could be worked into the other wheels).

    • we might need a list of stop words if we want this to automatically generate onto the data wall.

Ideally we could release the code for this project to other Fringe festivals and compare the crowdsourced suggestions, possibly generate a crowdsourced guide to the Fringe.

Resources Needed:

  • Data wall (or walls)
  • Volunteers need smartphones & identifying imagery (t-shirts, buttons, etc)
  • Buttons or stickers for players
  • Volunteer app version
  • Public app version
  • Game content (play schedules, vendors, attractions, etc)
  • Twitter hashtag for suggestions
  • Phone# for texts

Game Play Narrative:

Brenda has often visited the Fringe with friends and family over the past three years but rarely attends the plays. She has come to the Fringe festival after work with some friends to have dinner and wander around the festival site. As her group approaches the entrance to the vendor village they are greeted by a Fringe volunteer wearing a “Fringe Benefits” button who asks them what they are planning on checking out at the festival. Brenda says that they are just going to wander around and find somewhere that isn’t too busy for dinner and then maybe see some of the street performers later on. The volunteer asks if they would like to play a game and see a recommendation for somewhere to go for dinner. Brenda and her friends decide to try the game and the volunteer pushes the suggestion button on their smartphone which sends the digital wheel on the data wall nearby spinning. The wheel lands on The Next Act Pub as a suggestion for somewhere nearby for dinner. The group thanks the volunteer but after some discussion decides to try the vendor village stalls for food. Later that evening after walking around the festival grounds they run into another volunteer with the same button. They don’t have a plan for the rest of their evening and decide to see what the game would suggest for them. A spin of the wheel lands on a play at the Trans Alta Arts Barn that is starting in 15 minutes and still has tickets available. The group decides to take a chance on the show and walks over to line up for tickets. The volunteer tells them to mention that they came to the show based on a suggestion from the game to receive a button and that there is an app available for them to use anytime. After the play Brenda decided to download the game app on her phone for future trips to the Fringe grounds throughout the week.

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