for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

Vans ‘Finger Fracture’ Touch-Screen Gaming for the iPhone

A brand that’s quick off the mark when it comes to new media formats, it looks like Vans have teamed up with the Miami Ad School to create a very cool-looking skateboarding game for the iPhone and iTouch that challenges finger dexterity using Apple’s touch screen technology.

vans iphone

Game Description:

‘Vans Finger Fracture is a swift skateboard game. In arcade style the user explores different levels and jumps over obstacles, always going for the best trick.

iPhone’s touch screen allows you to steer the skateboard in an intuitive way, as we know it from finger boards. Through special combinations and movements, like in the real World; a huge range of tricks can be performed. but you won’t break your neck doing it, rather your fingers’

You choose a rider by selecting one of the shoe models, each of which is loaded with a different specialism such as airtime, speed and balance then control, steer and perform special tricks using different finger movements. Definitely the coolest mobile gaming idea so far, ‘Finger Fracture’ even uploads your scores to a worldwide ranking list- bring on the global battles! No word on whether this is still a concept or due to be launched, anyone in the know?

vans iphone game

[via Trendwatch]

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Filed under: brand extensions, , ,

Greenpeace gets Gamers to Battle for a Greener Future

clash of the consoles

With games consoles top of many Christmas lists, Greenpeace are taking their fight to the gamers themselves and asking for their help in forcing the gaming industry to get greener. The campaign, known as Clash of the Consoles, pits the three key players- Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft- against each other with a scoreboard rating each on their toxic use, toxic policy, recycling credits and energy use.

“In gamespace everybody wants to save the world. But back here on planet Earth, your favourite games console contains deadly agents of real destruction: toxic chemicals that shouldn’t be there and may be contributing to mountains of e-waste when thrown away. Clash of the Consoles is the website where you can check out how your favourite game heroes stand up against their rivals, and how you can help battle the boss monsters to green their game”

Within the website Greenpeace have created a a 90-second video featuring three of the most iconic game characters – Microsoft’s Master Chief, Nintendo’s Mario and Sony’s Kratos – competing for the prize of a greener games console, and calling for gamers to “Jump in…Tell your game console company wii would like to live and play in a toxic free world.”

According to BBC News, Greenpeace’s campaign to persuade the whole electronics industry to eliminate hazardous chemicals has found that “Game console manufacturers are lagging way behind the makers of mobile phones and PCs who have been reducing the toxic load of the products over the past year”, and from a survey conducted by the organisation on Habbo hotel last month found that of the 50,000 teenagers who responded, 74% rated global warming over drugs, violence and war as the issue they were most concerned about.

see more at Clash of the Consoles

Filed under: clever promotion, evironmental insights,

Cruel 2 B Kind- Watch Out for Compliments

Picture_16Beware- random compliments handed out in the street are really people trying to kill you! A new street game called Cruel 2 B Kind uses acts of kindness as secret weapons to assasinate their targets- the difference though is that players don’t know who they’re looking for. Each team receives a personally assigned secret weapon and secret weakness meaning their is only one target hidden in the crowds of the very public areas where the games are held.

“Your secret weapon is the act of kindness you perform on suspected targets. Example: Praise your targets’ shoes. If you perform this weapon on the correct target, they will surrender. If you perform this weapon on other players who are not your target, they will say “You are too kind.” If you perform this weapon on non-targets – well, we have no idea what might happen!”

The idea behind the events that were launched in New York in September is to encourage people to interact in a positive way within public spaces- players must approach strangers within the gaming area and use their secret weapon to score points and stay in the game.

Creator Jane McGonigal is a game designer and researcher (and recently named on MIT Technology Review’s 2006 list of Top Innovators under the age of 35 who are changing the world through technology) who is looking for ways to draw people out of their shells and interact with the community around them- “I feel that games are a powerful way to build connections, to add to the quality of life…Compliments are very powerful. I think giving them out contributes to public wellbeing”.

Look out for the next game which will be held in London’s Soho this Saturday Dec 9th. With so many christmas shoppers around it should make for a very interesting experiment in social behaviour- I’m tempted just to go and watch!

Some players will be slain by a serenade. Others will be killed by a compliment. You and your partner might be taken down by an innocent group cheer. Will innocents be caught in the cross-fire? Oh, yes. But when your secret weapon is a random act of kindness, it’s only cruel to be kind
to other players…

Filed under: creative ideas, good, stuff on the streets, ,

Intelligent Clothing- The Wearable Instrument Shirt

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the invention of the Wearable Instrument Shirt created by scientists at the CSIRO’s Textile and Fibre Technology division in Geelong. Electric sensors woven into a t-shirt enable it to be played liked a real (air) guitar- the wearer acts out playing the instrument and  their arm movements are mapped and beamed by radio to a computer which interprets them and turns them into musical notes.

“The left arm chooses a note and the right arm plays it,” said
Richard Helmer, a CSIRO chemical engineer who led the project- although the arrangement can be reversed for left-handed musicians. “It’s an easy-to-use, virtual instrument that allows real-time music making even by players without significant musical or computing skills”

There is no date as yet for when the WIS would go into production, but the CSIRO has already taken out patents. Dr Helmer believes the market for such intelligent clothing could be enormous, with applications going beyond music and gaming into the medical and teaching professions.

see the guitar shirt in action here or watch a tambourine version

Filed under: technology, visions of the future,

BEN SHERMAN PLAYING GAMES

Ben Sherman have signed a license deal with Atari for their spring-summer 2006 menswear collection to be featured in Atari’s ‘Test Drive Unlimited’ Xbox 360 game, which is released tomorrow.

Players must choose from a wardrobe of Ben Sherman clothes in which to drive high-performance vehicles in races on 1,000 miles of Hawaiian roads. A spokesman for Atari said that gaming was about experiencing a complete virtual lifestyle, and buying fashion labels for the characters was a part of this. Players can also visit the Xbox 360 download site and add content to the game, such as the Ben Sherman spring and summer 2007 fashion collection.

Already associated with boy-racers and ‘chavs’, I wonder whether this was the best move for the promotion of Ben Sherman brand, although that said they will definitely have a captive audience!

Filed under: brand extensions, clever promotion, ,

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