PuSh Blog

Best Before, a 200 person video game! Pay what you can preview Jan 27

January 26, 2010

Yep, you heard us right! 200 audience members. 200 game controllers. You are about to be born…

In Best Before, the brain child of the artist collective Rimini Protokoll, every audience member controls an onscreen avatar and must make decisions as they navigate their way through an imaginary world known as BestLand. This is something that has to be seen to be believed! The show opens Friday, January 29th… and there is a special “Pay-what-you-can preview” on Wednesday, January 27th at 7pm.

photo from www.mariepoulin.com

Putting together an interactive show requires a lot of testing of the game software. Throughout this process, we have have been lucky enough to have hundreds of volunteers help test the game in a variety of dress rehearsals and game tests for the shows. Here is some of the feedback from the awesome people who helped us out:

“Over 200 players were active participants in BestLand, and could make decisions starting with gender (head to the left side of the screen if you want to be male!), occupation, political views, etc. Took heroine and smoked pot earlier in the game? Reap the consequences as you must later on spend 5 turns in the hospital, as your actions will affect your future health. Voted for guns? Your avatar now carries a gun at all times. Partnered up and divorced? That will cost you a few BestLand coins. The evening was extremely enjoyable and entertaining, and there was no way to hold in the laughter as they tested the various glitches and watched how the audience reacted to certain decisions they had to make…”

Marie Poulin, Interactive Design & Strategy
Click here to read Marie’s full posting on her blog!

“There is an inescapable anxiety that comes with imminent virtual death. In playing video games, we get attached to our characters and our avatars. I grew more anxious the prouder I became of my avatar’s accomplishments in ‘Best Before,’ a game-in-a-theatre-piece that allows 200 audience members to live a virtual lifetime together inside the old theatre at The Cultch in Vancouver. “Noooo…” some of the folks in the test audience cried out, as their beloved creations were swept away by the virtual cold wind of virtual death. Quite a different reaction than the “whoopees” when they were first allowed to have sex, or the “yeahs” when they got their first guns. If this sounds strange, don’t be dissuaded. The type of theatre this is supposed to be is part of new movement Rimini Protokoll created called ‘Reality Trend’… “

– Rhiannon Coppin
Click here to read Rhiannon’s full blog post Best During, and After

“Through your on screen avatar, you make decisions in your life that will have future consequences. Obviously I decided to smoke weed at a party (Avatar-ly speaking of course). Sounds fun right? Until I decided to run for president, and my former drug use caught up to me. It’s these life decisions we face everyday, with unknown consequences…”

Mike Rogers, The Moustache Aficionado
Click here to read Mike’s full blog post Try the heroin

“I found it quite entertaining, and how it mirrored reality was remarkable. The program itself was well designed and quite humorous too. It was a bit frustrating when there were technical issues but that’s what these test screenings are useful to work out. However, for the most part, I thought things ran quite smoothly and the real life narrators made for a great touch of realism and often touching stories. I especially liked Duff’s wit and sense of humour with his side commentaries. Overall, I thought it was a great show and I would definitely recommend it to others.”

Thai Lam, Configuration Management Specialist

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Come for yourself and see what the buzz is all about.
On January 27, there is a special “Pay-what-you-can preview” of Best Before!
Here are the details:

Best Before
Pay-what-you-can preview

Wednesday, January 27, 7:00pm
The Cultch (1895 Venables Street)

We hope you can join us!

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Best Before is part of the 2010 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and is presented with Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and The Cultch. January 29- February 6, 2010 at 7pm (weekend matinees Sat 2pm and Sun 4pm), The Cultch. Click here for full details.

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