RFID Snakes and Ladders is a game currently played at the Media Centre, Huddersfield, until June 2nd.
The rules are the same as the traditional game, except the whole building – which is home to over 120 separate small businesses – becomes part of the game board.
Players get a counter containing an RFID chip. They have to pass it in front of the giant dice and check how far they ‘rolled’ on a connected website. If they land at the bottom of the ladder, they pass their counter in front of the model ladder to climb it. If they hit the head of a snake, it’s a slippery slide unless they get to the model snake in time.
Models are placed around the Media Centre: in the entrance, the café bar and outside the lifts.
Players take a turn every three hours (unless they throw a six or land on a snake or a ladder, when they have to act quickly). In this way the game becomes part of the normal working day. Players might take a turn when they first arrive, another when they grab a coffee, and another at lunchtime.
And if they land on a bonus square, they get a secret prize. Players who reach the top square first win prizes from the centre’s Café Ollo menu.
RFID Snakes and Ladders is a great way of connecting people who inhabit the same location, but who often feel isolated from each other.
“After the Media Centre we hope to test the game in places where people are in danger of feeling cut off or lonely,” said Andrew Wilson of Blink Media. “For example in sheltered housing or the children’s ward of a hospital, where playing a simple, ongoing game with others might help to bring people together face to face.”
Developed by new media company Blink. Game programming and web design by C.H.I.P.S.. Hardware by Daniel Blackburn of Carbon Based Games. Illustrations by Andy Sykes. Models by Richard Dawson.