08 August 2022.

Mediascape in a Ski Resort

By  Ben Clayton ,   Monday, 17 March 2008

A group of 30 journalists and one lucky mscaper got the chance to fly out to Les Arcs, a ski resort in the French Alps to experience a mediascape based in the town of Arc 1800.

The event was run by HP’s Personal Systems Group (PSG) in partnership with Rossignol, a French ski equipment manufacturer, and was entitled ‘Quality Me Time’. The aim of the event was to show the 30 assembled female fashion and lifestyle journalists how both companies are targeting women’s needs - HP presented its new range of design-focused laptops, while Rossignol presented its unique new women-only range of skis and boots. The whole theme of the event was based around how technology can fit into women’s lives, and become an enabler rather than a barrier to them.

I ran the afternoon session, which took the journalists out of their seats in the presentation room and outside into the (thankfully) glorious weather outside to play a mediascape game called Snowball Challenge that had been built over the previous three days.

The game used the GPS capability of the HP rx5935 Travel Companion devices & mscape technology to guide teams of two players around the town, where they completed challenges and answer questions in order to progress. In a similar manner to the recent Girl Geek Challenge, multiple-choice questions would pop up at particular real-world locations, and the teams had to find the answer by looking at nearby signs, shops, ski lifts, restaurants, or in some cases by asking local people.

One of the most most entertaining questions was based inside the ESF Ski School in the town of Charvet, where the journalists were challenged to count the number of teddy bears hidden inside the chalet style structure (19). Cue scenes of a dozen journalists inside the cramped space frantically counting, whilst the staff look on in utter bemusement..

In certain parts of town the players were ambushed by green-faced resident critters, who pelted the teams with virtual snowballs until players correctly answer the aliens’ riddles. For example, the player saw four photographs of architectural elements, parts of signs, or street furniture and they had to quickly look around to select the item that was not visible from where they are standing. This idea was based on Phil Stenton’s Alien Alley game.

The journalists had a great time playing the game, and also learnt a lot about mscape technology. We were particularly impressed with the competitive streak shown by the journalists, the highest score on the day was in fact higher even than the author’s best score.With a bit of luck, media coverage of the event should start to appear fairly soon. Most of the journalists worked in the print media for magazines like Elle, and these magazines tend to work several issues in advance (many are finishing their June edition as I write) so it may be a few months before many articles start to appear. Having said that, one web-based journalist did made a small video spot on the game which you can see below.

One bonus for mscapers around the world is that the question game engine that was developed for game has been torn out, cleaned up and repurposed so that it can be used to create your own located quiz games really easily.

Essentially all you need to do it to write a simple text file containing your questions, lay out a bunch of region using mscape maker, and start up the quiz game engine.