Drexel professors are hosting a workshop/community meeting to bring together the community’s creatives, leaders and entrepreneurs in an effort to bring H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds to the streets of Philadelphia.
The event is on Sunday, Dec. 17, at ExCITe Center (3401 Market Street).
Through mobile gaming and performance art, Frank Lee, founder of Drexel’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio (EGS) and the mastermind behind the biggest video game in the world, and Adrienne Mackey, director of Swim Pony Performing Arts, are attempting to recreate the magic of Orson Welles’ radio show for modern times. Over several months, the mobile game will have players solving puzzles and interacting with live performances in different areas of the city to stop aliens from invading Philadelphia.
The popularity of Pokémon Go and the various Escape the Rooms strewn about the city (like this one, that tapped the local tech community,) show that there is a desire for games that encourage exploration and utilize the world we live in to create puzzles. Need more proof? The city chose the project as its submission to a Bloomberg Philanthropies public art grant.
Funded by the William Penn Foundation, War of the Worlds: Philadelphia is an ambitious game that wants to be embedded in the community and to reach that goal, it’s now calling on the community to aid in its creation. EGS wants the community to help brainstorm about artwork, games, social media campaigns and stories that will be told during the city’s fight against alien invaders.
People flock to Eastern State Penitentiary every October for Terror Behind the Walls. Maybe one day when EGS and Swim Pony are done, they’ll flock to Philadelphia to fight off the alien invasion.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.