San Fransisco bus stops have a new way of alleviating boredom for waiting travellers: computer games.
The San Fransisco Examiner reported a few weeks ago:
…tech giant Yahoo has installed digital video screens at 20 bus shelters in San Francisco, mostly in the downtown area. As part of the promotion, transit passengers from 20 specified neighborhoods will get the chance to compete against each other in different video games — and the community that wins the two-month contest will host a block party featuring the rock band OK Go.
To compete, passengers need only to tap the screen and choose one of four games, which range from visual puzzles to sports trivia competitions. Once a rider has selected which neighborhood they want to represent, they can challenge any other waiting passenger to a live competition. Also, for anyone curious about duping the system, Yahoo has set up barriers to prevent any sort of automated competition.
Each time a rider wins a contest, their neighborhood receives 100 points. The neighborhood with the most points by Jan. 28 will be crowned the winner and get to party with OK Go on Feb. 5. Once the victorious community has been decided, the exact details of OK Go’s performance will be finalized.
What I really like about this is the community element of the game, as well as the integration of technology with a mundane activity.
It’s yet another example of how gaming is becoming more and more pervasive, less the preserve of geeks, and technology is injecting something genuinely fun, innovative and inspirational into everyday life.