Associated Press article: 'Shark Tale' Previews
By David Germain
France - The Cannes Film Festival (news - web sites)
has had its first shark attack. Will Smith (news),
Angelina Jolie (news) and Jack Black (news) rode
a 14-foot inflatable shark Friday along the beach
in the Mediterranean resort town to promote their
upcoming computer-animated flick "Shark Tale,"
which debuts in October.
As Smith, Jolie and
Black took their shark ride, dozens of photographers
and TV camera crews shot images, while hundreds
of celebrity gawkers watched. At the end of the
ride, Black leaped off the shark into the water.
Inflatible shark manufactured by Interactive Inflatables.
To see more images of the event Click
To see the entire article from Yahoo News
from the Urban
Using a B.U.G. to Promote Urban Design
By Kristi Cameron
Is city life just a big game? From Sept. 3-7, it
was for Minneapolis and St. Paul's residents and
visitors, who found themselves following three 25-foot-tall
game pieces through the streets of the Twin Cities.
The event, called the
Big Urban Game (B.U.G) , urged participants to use
their familiarity with the area to choose the fastest
course through the streets. B.U.G. was held as part
of the summer-long Twin
Cities Design Celebration , organized by the
Design Institute at the University of Minnesota;
for the celebration, the institute also has published
nine Knowledge Maps marking unique points of local
cultural interest and commissioned Dutch typographers
to create a typeface, Twin, that changes in
response to urban conditions such as weather, traffic,
and the ebb and flow of the Mississippi River.
A day before B.U.G. started, Metropolis
associate editor Kristi Cameron spoke to Design
Institute director Janet Abrams about the Institute's
activities and how B.U.G. might make Twin Cities
denizens more aware of the design around them.
Why turn the Twin Cities into a game?
We wanted to develop a project that would engage
a mass audience in a conversation about the designed
environment. The idea of a game as a designed social
experience emerged in the course of our discussions.
You hired some folks from gameLab [Katie
Salen, Frank Lantz, and Nicholas Fortugno, who worked
under the banner Playground] to help put B.U.G.
together. What did these designers, with their computer-game
backgrounds, bring to a project involving the urban
Let's turn the question around slightly. The [Playground
trio] have skills in developing games for the online
environment, but also for "nonline," public-realm
environments-people physically exchanging things
with each other as part of the game play.
We asked them to come up with three scenarios that
would achieve the general goal of setting up a playful,
social, mass-participation experience. They drafted
a mission statement for themselves of what these
games could be in order to achieve that goal. The
document was a sort of general theory of games for
the public realm. We then chose one idea and took
it into full-scale development.
They know what it takes to make a game, the elements
of game design: Establishing a set of rules, units
of activity, game pieces, and a space of play. In
this case, the game board is the readymade surface
of the city. The game pieces are much enlarged to
suggest the proportions of a [traditional] game
board to its playing pieces. The pieces look like
pawns from a chess game. There are also mats that
they sit on that say, "The B.U.G. stops here," which
represent the squares on a [traditional] game board.
For me, the difference is an imagined space
that the designers create vs. an existing space.
How did they go about tackling that existing space?
I like your analogy very much, a sort of grafting
of imaginative space onto real space. This is not
a Design Theory 405 class, nor should it be. The
goal is to be as accessible to someone who doesn't
even know what design is, as to a professor of design.
It's an open exercise.
The [actual] point of a game is that it's a learning
experience in an unconventional setting-not a classroom,
not a lecture, not a book. It's a way of getting
people out to appreciate the sort of museum that
the city already is.
Can we go through how the game is played?
The essence of the game is a race. There are three
inflatable playing pieces that are carried by people
walking from three different starting points through
five checkpoints daily to a single common destination.They
are basically racing each other for the shortest
cumulative time to that finish. The routes have
been mapped out.
Are the checkpoints predetermined?
You don't choose the checkpoints, you choose the
routes that are being offered between them, A or
B, and those have been designed as equal in length
but different in difficulty. You have to use your
knowledge of what the actual terrain is: Is it going
to take longer, even if it looks like it's going
to be shorter, because it may involve hills or traffic
lights or ducks crossing the road?
It's very clear how the game teaches residents
and visitors more about the Twin Cities, but how
does it help them to appreciate design?
We'll find out. As soon as you've logged your vote
[online] you'll be asked to respond to some questions
we've framed to set people off on an imaginative
plane. We want to get people thinking about their
daily life and the way in which the material landscape
enables or impinges on that[and] we want to find
out how aware people are of their designed environment.
What have you learned about Minneapolis
and St. Paul that you didn't already know?
I really feel that the kind of projects we are able
to do at the Design Institute would probably not
happen in a place without the generosity and the
willingness of, first, the university, [which] recognizes
design as something worth doing and second, Target
Corporation whose gift to the DI has made the Twin
Cities Design Celebration possible. In a bigger
city, or one with more of a sense of itself as a
design-sophisticated environment, ideas have already
been laid out. Here [in the Twin Cities] there's
an openness and willingness to try things.
Reproduced from USA