Uncle Roy All Around You

Uncle Roy All Around You (URAY) is a pervasive game[1] made by Blast Theory. URAY was built in the Equator project on the EQUIP architecture.[2] "The defining characteristic of this game is the way it mixes preprogrammed game content with live performance that takes place on the city streets."[3] Players "on the street" set out on a journey to find a fictional character called Uncle Roy. Simultaneously players online journeyed through a parallel 3D world, all the while guiding or misleading street players. The game was staged in May/June 2003 in central London. Players on the street were given a mobile device to use to navigate through the city and keep contact with game operators and online players.[3] In URAY, self-reported positioning was used instead of location tracking.[4] Street players were presented with a map that they could pan around and subsequently mark their location upon. The mobile device allowed street players to record and send short audio clips to the online players. The notable end of the game is when the street players find Uncle Roy's office where it is possible for the online to meet the street players through webcam. The street players are asked if they are willing to "commit to help a stranger for the next year and if so, whether they are prepared to release their personal contact details". Later the street players are invited into a limousine, where they are asked the same question. Players are paired up to meet if they both committed to the agreement.[3]

Orchestration was particularly important in URAY to keep players out of danger in the streets and ensure players advanced through the stages of the game properly. Actors were used in some scenarios of the game and operators were some times required to deal with technical issues. The orchestration team consisted of more than 10 people.[3]


  1. ^ Montola, Markus; Stenros, Jaakko; Waern, Annika (2009). Pervasive Games. Theory and Design. Experiences on the Boundary Between Life and Play. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
  2. ^ Greenhalgh, Chris. "Chris Greenhalgh's Home Page". Retrieved 2013-10-17. collaborations with performance artists Blast Theory (Rider Spoke, Day of the Figurines) and Active Ingredient (Love City, Exploding Places)
  3. ^ a b c d Flintham, Martin; Anastasi, Rob; Benford, Steve; Drozd, Adam; Mathrick, James; Rowland, Duncan; Tandavanitj, Nick; Adam, Matt; Row-Farr, Ju; Oldroyd, Amanda; Sutton, Jon (2003). "Uncle Roy all around you: mixing games and theatre on the city streets". Level Up Conference Proceedings. University of Utrecht.
  4. ^ Steve Benford; Will Seager; Martin Flintham; Rob Anastasi; Duncan Rowland; Jan Humble; Danaë Stanton; John Bowers; Nick Tandavanitj; Matt Adams; Ju Row Farr; Amanda Oldroyd; Jon Sutton (2004), "The error of our ways: the experience of self-reported position in a location-based game" (PDF), UbiComp 2004: Ubiquitous Computing, Springer: 70–87

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