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The Pong - Video Games on the Field

students collaborating on coding project

Howdy iDers – I’m (the other) Pete.

(the other) Pete in front of a geyser

(the other) Pete in front of a geyser.

 

Bryan – And I’m Bryan. The *only* Bryan.

Bryan at Cataract

Bryan at Cataract

How did you get here – this is supposed to my big camp blog debut!

Bryan – Don’t worry. I’m just here to keep it exciting.

I’m not exciting?

(the other) Pete Sulking

(the other) Pete Sulking

Bryan – You’re pretty exciting, but look at this hair.

Bryan's Hair

Bryan's Hair

Fair enough. Anyway, I’m (the other) Pete – the activity expert of iD Tech Camps. I do my best to unplug the campers and get them physical. Over the next handful of months I’ll be writing about some of the awesome activities that we did in the summer of 2009 and give hints about what is on the horizon for 2010.

Prior to iD Tech, I helped run an outdoor version of Pacman called PacManhattan, which used the city grids surrounding Washington Square Park in New York City as a Pacman board.

(the other) Pete as Ghost in Pac-Manhattan

(the other) Pete as Ghost in Pac-Manhattan

One of the challenges that we put on the Staffers in 2009 was to develop outdoor games based on video games. This proved to be an incredible success – the Campers loved being characters in their favorite games and the Staffers loved the idea of game creation. Also, it provided a great opportunity for the campers in our Digital Video Camp and Photography Camp to get interesting and some ridiculous shots!

Here are some of standouts – let us know your faves:

Human Pong

Inspired by: Pong by Allan Alcorn of Atari Incorperated, 1972.

Created by: Gadget at Rider University.

Pong Machine courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Pong Machine courtesy of Wikipedia.org

[PIC of Pong courtesy of Wikipedia]

Prep: Minimal – just set up some boundaries and choose teams

Players: 8 – 14 players (keep even numbers)

Props: Soccer ball and boundariesSpace: Medium field or Large Gymnasium

Time: 10-15 Minutes

Goal

To get the ball past the other team / to be the last team with players.

Gameplay

Separate the group into two even teams and create boundaries that are roughly half a soccer field. Each team links arms to form a “paddle” and faces the other paddle at either end of the playing field. The paddles can only move left or right (not forward!) and cannot unlink arms. The goal is to get the ball past the other paddle by kicking it toward the opposite boundary. If the ball exits the boundaries on the right or left, the last team to touch the ball loses a player.

Players that are lost from one team link arms onto the opposite team. If there is not enough room to add more players, another paddle can be made out of two players.

The game continues until only one player is left on one side.

Rules & Variations

All players must remain linked. If a paddle becomes separated, a player is lost from that team.

The paddles can only go left or right.

Players can only kick the ball.

If the ball goes out of bounds, the last team to touch the ball loses a player.

Variation 1: Use any extra campers or staff to make the boundaries on each side. They can be the wall that the ball bounces off of to keep the ball in bounds.

Variation 2: Use a camper to play the ball. They walk in a straight like and try to go past the “paddles”. If they hit the paddles, they must turn around and keep in a straight line. Each time the “ball” is out, they can trade off with another player.

Variation 3: Once a player is out, they are completely out of the game.

Field Pong

Field Pong

Outdoor Left 4 Dead

Inspired by: Left 4 Dead by Turtle Rock Studios and Valve Corperation, 2008.

Created by: Phozee at Purdue University

Prep: 5 minutes, set up boundaries / spawn point(s)

Players: 20 or more bodies

Props: 4 Water Guns

Space: Field; Grassy Area – NOTE: Area with obstacles and terrain works better

Time: 10 Minutes

Goal

Four survivors armed with water guns must stay alive for a set amount of time against a horde of zombies.

Gameplay

Create a large boundary in an area that ideally has some obstacles, such as trees. Make one (1) Spawn point out of a cone for every 10 or so players at random spots within the boundaries.

Separate the group into 4 Survivors and the rest as Zombies. The Survivors are all given water guns and must stay alive for a set amount of time – the less Zombies the more time that is given. Staffers should probably start as the Survivors to set a good example of safe play. The Zombies must take out all of the Survivors by tagging them each five (5) separate times before the time limit is over. A tagged Survivor must freeze and cannot move until they are tagged by another Survivor. They are still allowed to shoot the water gun while frozen. Zombies that land a successful tag must move on to another Survivor before tagging the same Survivor again. When a Zombie is tagged by a water gun, they must immediately retreat to the nearest spawn point.

Rules & Variations

Zombies must retreat to a spawn points immediately after being tagged by water.

Survivors must freeze if tagged and cannot move unless tagged by another Survivor.

Once a Survivor is tagged five (5) times, they become a Zombie and start at the closest spawn point (and give their water gun to a non-playing Staffer).

Both Survivors and Zombies must start the game walking. As the players become more advanced, the boundaries can be expanded and fast walking can be allowed. Use proper judgment to ensure safety – especially if there are a lot of obstacles!

Bryan – When Vassar played this game it was really fun and the kids enjoyed it. We had 4 survivors and the rest Zombies, but I made sure to start off only letting the zombies walk and his everyone in an square with boundaries. After a few minutes, I started letting the zombies run and it got wild. A round or two went by and then I opened the field up and created many different spawning stations so the survivors could run around and the zombie would spawn at the nearest station and the survivors could have a chance to run away. We took a lot of great photos! Ultimately it was a lot of fun and the summer camp kids were asking to play it everyday. Pete thought of using sponge balls, which would work well, except you have to the pick them up and zombies may be around.

Water Warfare

Inspired by: Team Fortress 2 by Valve Corperation, 2007.

Created by: WoWZer and Greg at Rollins College

Prep: Fill up water guns and sponges; assign teams and classes; create strategies; create boundaries

Players: 10 or more bodies

Props: Various Sizes of Water Guns, Sponge Balls, iD Tech Crossing Flags, iD Tech Flag Football Flags, Sponges, Plastic Bags

Space: Field; Grassy Area – NOTE: Area with obstacles and terrain works better

Time: 30 – 45 Minutes

Goal

Capture the other team’s flags.

Gameplay

This is a complex version of Capture the Flag that uses class definitions for each player. Each player takes on a role that defines how they participate in the activity.

Create boundaries over a large area. If there are many obstacles, be sure to make the group aware of potential safety threats.

The game of Capture the Flag is simple: one team has to bring the other team’s flag back to their home base without being tagged. This variation builds on the concept while integrating some aspects of the popular video game, Team Fortress 2. Place one flag on either end of the playing area. Each of these acts as a base from which the two teams begin the game and eventually try to place the opponent’s flag. Separate the group into two equal teams and assign classes to each player. Allow each team to formulate a strategy and begin. The first team to bring the flag to their base wins.

Each class needs to be represented at the beginning of the game. Once a class is assigned, a player may not change classes until a new game begins.

Grenadier – The Grenadier class only has a small water gun and is able to wield water bombs and sponges. A bag is tied to the waist of the grenadier with a limited supply of water bombs. When this ammunition is out, the Grenadier must go back to his designated side in order to reload. The Grenadier is the only member allowed to use the water bombs and sponges besides the Staff.

Scout – The Scout class is your main flag runner, meaning that they are the only member of the team that can capture the opponent’s flag. The Scout has to wear a flag around their waste and can only be tagged out by having the flag grabbed or by a water bomb or sponge. The Scout does not carry a weapon.

Medic – The Medic is one of the most important classes. Medics are the only class that can revive other team members. When a member of their team is tagged, they must squat out of play and call for a medic. The Medic tags the player on the field and instantly that player is back into the game. Medics may carry a small water gun and must put their team color around their arm.

Soldier – Soldiers represent the bulk of the players. Most people who play this game will fall into the category of Soldier. The Soldier is given a medium sized water gun and have free reign of the field. In order to gain an advantage in this game, the Soldiers must work together with strategies in order to overwhelm their opposition. Soldiers must put the team color around their head.

Staff – The Staff are hired mercenaries. The Staff are able to switch sides at any time, however rules do apply. If you are shot out, the way you are hired on that team is by being tagged by a Medic. The Medic of any team is able to revive a Staff member and that Staff member has to play for that team until they are tagged out again. Staff are encouraged to bring their own water guns and/or water bombs for an advantage.

Staffers are encouraged to create their own classes and add them to this game. Engineers, for instance, could resupply players on the field.

Rules & Variations

When a player is shot on the limb by water (except for the Scout) that limb is no longer functioning until a Medic heals that player.

Medics may not heal themselves.

A body shot, water bomb and sponge hits equal an immediate out until revived by a Medic. If two limbs are hit, the player is also out.

Players may be revived either by a Medic or by walking back to their home base.

Leeroy Jenkins

Inspired by: World of Warcraft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_warcraft) by Blizzard Entertainment, 2004. Specifically, this refers to a player named “Leeroy Jenkins”  by Ben Schultz.

Created by: Chris at ASU

Prep: Create boundaries

Players: 10 – 20 bodies

Props: 1 Flag

Space: Open Space; Large Field

Time: 10 – 20 Minutes

Goal

Rescue Leeroy from the Bosses.

Gameplay

Create boundaries that are roughly the size of a soccer field. Assign roles to all of the team members: 1 Leeroy Jenkins, 5 – 8 Bosses and the rest are Leeroy’s teammates. The goal is to rescue Leeroy from the Bosses before he crosses from one side of the field to the other and have all of his teammates also escape. Everyone starts at the edge of the boundary and the Bosses surround Leeroy. Leeroy screams, “Leeeeeeeeeroy Jeeennnnnnkins” and starts running without regard to the other side. His teammates have to rescue him by grabbing Leeroy and leading him to the opposite boundary, while avoiding being tagged by the Bosses. If a player is tagged by a Boss, they have to sit and wait to be revived by another player. The game only ends if either all players have been saved or all have been tagged out by a Boss.

Rules & Variations

Players tagged by a Boss must squat out of play and wait to be revived by another player.

If Leeroy is successfully saved, all squatting players are simultaneously revived.

Kids playing Leeroy Jenkins

Kids playing Leeroy Jenkins

  • Just curious – Looks like you are Inky (aka “Bashful”) in PacManhattan, any reason you chose that ghost?

    And welcome to the iD Blog!

    “Leeeeeeeeeroy Jeeennnnnnkins”

  • Just curious – Looks like you are Inky (aka “Bashful”) in PacManhattan, any reason you chose that ghost?

    And welcome to the iD Blog!

    “Leeeeeeeeeroy Jeeennnnnnkins”

  • I think I started as Inky… and didn’t win. But then I played as red – who is that? I won as red.

    …and LJ is a really fun field game!

  • I think I started as Inky… and didn’t win. But then I played as red – who is that? I won as red.

    …and LJ is a really fun field game!

  • Red – Blinky, aka Speedy

  • Red – Blinky, aka Speedy