Mobiles at the movies
As a follow up to all things play related... here is a question: "What happens if we no longer ban phones at the movies, but instead encourage them?"
Imagine this: instead of going into a movie theater and turning your phone off, the screen says please make sure your phone is set to maximum volume or vibrate mode. How does this change the experience?
It all of a sudden can easily become a group collaborative movie. Using SMS to create a group "choose-your-own-adventure" movie - directing the path of the narrative (although it is really almost impossible to create branching narratives). Or perhaps your phone rings and you hear the villains voice whisper something in your ear. Or even better perhaps you get a text message and it tells you to do something in the theater that reveals something in the movie or to pass on a bit of information to other audience participants. Or maybe you take a video and the guy next to you takes a video, you both submit them, and you have real time movie making. The movie no longer becomes passive, but instead active... interactive! Perhaps, the experience is now something more like a Rocky Horror Picture Show. Group participation, while still having the visual and audio that the cinema does so well.
SMS voting on TV shows has been taking off quite well. In Finland they even have and SMS station where people can text in their messages and chat via TV. Now imagine a captured audience with these same capabilities. Group cohesion (or tension) built into the experience.
Think about this, then think about any situation where phones aren't really accepted and think about how we can change that. How can we make the experience change. You are no long just connected now by physical space, but also by a virtual world. How can we make the two interact with one another?
It's ideas like this that make me love this stuff and make me excited about just how much we can actually do with these things if we really look at what they are providing us with!! So next time you are at the movies, just think what if each person had their own personalized experience or what if we all had a collaborative one. Or in the least - what if I could I order popcorn to my seat?