100-player game, 2011
For the first few thousand years of their existence, games were live social experiences, but video-gaming has changed the perception of what a game is. While many video games in the past 30 years have had a social element, for the most part they did not involve people in the same space, instead being split into multiple solitary experiences across many separate screens.
This custom installation game for 100 players will be played on a single giant screen multiple times in the opening days of GAME. With a compelling dramatic arc and 90-minute running time, Renga delivers complex co-op strategy gameplay within a movie-like experience using a highly abstract visual style. The show mixes new technology with adventure drama and a wry sense of humour to bring the audience together and leave them feeling a deep sense of camaraderie.
Renga is about finding a way home. Attacked and left for dead, our hero must carefully marshal their resources to build a new ship, confront their nemesis and finally return home. Only this hero isn’t visible on the screen—it’s an entire theatre audience, working collectively to control the action using laser pointers. Turning the traditional hero’s journey on its head, Renga asks the question—what if the ultimate reward can only be grasped by many hands
"“We felt that there is a growing backlash to our pervasively networked and digital lives. People are beginning to crave something real again with other human beings. However, the type of live social entertainment currently on offer tends to be passive experiences including cinema, theatre and watching sports. Can’t there be a wider array of experiences that are more active The majority of those working on interactive crowd technology are either creating short, toy-like experiences failing to embrace the true power of games, or they are generally heavily influenced by physical activity and party-style games. We are games enthusiasts and believe there is an appetite out there for more substantial forms of group play that are more mentally challenging than physically. Renga is our first attempt to address these issues and we are now screening it internationally in cinemas.”"