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1000 Cities – A Ride of Passage


Bicycle game will turn Melbourne into a wonderland

The City of Melbourne and Pop Up Playground is inviting people to take part in a new interactive game that will change the way they see the city – forever!
Using a smartphone, a blue Melbourne Bike Share bike and a helmet, the interactive game 1000 Cities turns the CBD into a mythical adventure where riders will fight monsters, collect treasure and explore the hidden parts of the city.

Councillor Rohan Leppert, Chair of Arts and Culture, said this arts participation project highlights Council’s dedication to contributing to a creative city.
“1000 Cities is an innovative project that allows participants to go on a city adventure with a twist. Cities can be hard to navigate when you first arrive and the best way to get to know your way around is to explore,” said Cr Leppert.
Once participants visit the 1000 Cities site on a smartphone, they will be prompted to take out a bike at the Federation Square blue Melbourne Bike Share station. From there, the game will take riders through a series of tasks that will unlock hidden secrets about the city. Discover tucked away coffee shops, artworks, buildings, secret laneways and obscure city gems.

Rob Reid from Pop Up Playground said 1000 Cities is based on Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
“1000 Cities is your invitation to open doors that you may have not thought were there. Participants will be the hero of their own epic adventure. We are inviting international students to take part in the game, as this is a great way to get to know the city – but the game is open to anyone that would like to play,” said Rob.

A group of Melbourne-based international students worked closely with City of Melbourne and Pop Up Playground to help develop the game.
This initiative underpins City of Melbourne’s commitment to encouraging artists to explore new ways of reaching audiences, particularly through public participation, as outlined in its recently released Arts Strategy.

When: 2 – 28 February 2015
Where: Start from the Federation Square Melbourne Bike Share pod outside the Melbourne Visitor’s Centre
Cost: Free to play. You will need to have a credit card to unlock the bike and charges may apply.
A City of Melbourne project created by Pop Up Playground




#TrueRomansAll Pop Up Playground and Bell Shakespeare’s Mind’s Eye announce the creative development of #TrueRomansAll

#TrueRomansAll is a reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar in which the audience are ‘players’ with the influence to change the outcome of the story. Initially divided into two teams, they must decide at each juncture how fully they want to commit to the decisions that are being laid before them.

The players start together at a pre-appointed location, piecing together clues and information as they go. Information can be gleaned from other players, roving ‘journalists’, surrounding media or social networks (come armed with phones!). Players will meet in City Square, progressing through the city to finish around Treasury Gardens. Each team will be accompanied by a stage manager, and decisions are managed through a central ‘control centre’.

This is an outdoor theatre experience. Please wear shoes suitable for walking and dress for the weather. Players are asked to bring smartphones and be prepared to engage with the performance on Twitter and YouTube.These performances form the development season of this new work. Following the performance, your feedback would be appreciated.

Interested in knowing more or playing the game? Sign up to the #TrueRomansAll mailing list to receive information, game tips and the pre-game play by clicking here:

New game – The League of Extraordinary Nations

League_smA New Game by Pop Up Playground

Nuked up tin-pot dictators, egomaniacal madman and intergalactic super villains are all just a day’s work for The League of Extraordinary Nations.

Protecting the earth from evil through reasoned debate, careful planning, bureaucracy and consensus since 1976.

Players are ambassadors to the League of Extraordinary Nations and must outwit the Super Villain du jour to foil their nefarious plans for world domination.

The League of Extraordinary Nations is a large-scale conversation game of suspense, cliché and hilarity.

Will you work together to achieve world peace (like the real UN) or will suspicion turn you against each other out in the hour of earth’s greatest need.


New Games: Play in the UK

Hey hey hey! We’ve just uploaded our documentary, New Games: Play in the UK. It’s got stacks of interviews and footage of games being played over in the UK… Check it out here

Fresh Air Schedule

Fresh Air offers you a range of awesome things to do.

  • There are big games going on all around Fed Square usually starting a new one every hour.
  • There are little games going on the stage of The Edge and you can go down and play them when ever you like.
  • In the foyer of the Edge we have set up a bunch of Constructive Play activities and you can use them to make whatever you like.
  • If you’ve got kids with you we’ve got kids games running down on River Terrace all afternoon.
  • There’s also a couple of ambient games which start at HQ but might take you all over Fed square, that you can do on your own or in groups and go at your own pace.

Schedule:Read More

The Curse

In the shadows, behind the tents, a fortune telling machine beckons. “Cross my palm with silver” reads a cracked and painted banner. But these things are ne’er straightforward. Will it simply tell you your future? Or will there be some kind of trouble…

The Curse is a new game for The Village festival which will be played on Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd of November, 2012, with two sessions each night at 8 and 10 PM. The game lasts up to an hour.

Search out the Pop Up Players’ Tent Boss and his team of showies, fortune tellers and clowns, and cross their palms with silver (or at least a $5 note) for a magical brush with fate you’ll never forget.

Image by Awesome Joolie, used with permission

Spy Catcher @ The Melbourne Fringe Festival Club

We’re all spies here – but double agents are murdering our top assets. Your mentor stands accused. Are they guilty? Can you find out before it’s too late?

Join Pop Up Playground for Spy Catcher, a interactive game of inquisition, misdirection and accusation.

Hosted by Ben McKenzie, and featuring a line-up of suspicious spies from all over the Fringe Festival, this game is presented as a free event for the Festival Club games day – followed by Late Night Letters and Numbers.

Watch this space for more details of our line-up!

Look us up in the Fringe program here:


Popping up in March and April!

Welcome everyone to Pop Up Playground! We’ll post here about our games, events and play tests.

Yesterday we ran our first play test of our new game – a modification of Werewolf to incorporate performance to the crowd and team play. We played three times with a great group of volunteers – thanks all! After some great feedback from our initial play-through, we found our initial rules were pretty solid, though we have abandoned a couple of things which proved superfluous. Our second and third games went great, and we’re excited to bring it to the public – so excited we celebrated with ice-cream afterwards.

If we’re being a little coy with the details, it’s only because we want the game to be a surprise; this game will be our first public play experience, as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. If you can’t wait that long, you can also attend our free public trial show at 10 PM on March 7th at the Bella Union. Find out more details of the game on our Comedy Festival page!