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How players influence our game design

This weekend is our new game, The Focal Point, for the State Library of Victoria, a story telling game for all ages in which players help trapped echoes of the library deliver lost messages between each other across the decades. When we were designing the characters one of our game runners, Madeline Anderson, who was also in The Whispering Society, came to us with a story that one of the players had told her. She was so moved by his story that she wanted to base her character on it. We asked Madeline to share the story with you…

Madeline hears a story from a player

At about 1am, after 4 hours of constant stories being told and players trying to prove their worth to join “The Whispering Society”, a man in his seventies stumbled upon Pop Up Playground’s game and decided to play. Part of the game involved players taking photos with their smart phones of spirits that were trapped in objects of habit etc. They would then approach the actor and tell the story the spirit. If they proved their worth to all of the actors, they could become a member of the society. This lovely gentleman approached me and said that he did not have a smart phone to capture the spirit, but whether or not he could he show it to me. He turned my attention to the beautiful gold embellishment on the balcony and pillars of the Queen’s Hall and told me the story of the weeping war widow:Read More

Tipping point, the conclusion to The Whispering Society, by Emilie Collyer


Tipping point

by Emilie Collyer

All he did was stop for a coffee.
Tuesday morning, city square. Autumn sunlight bouncing off the little canal they built into the concrete pavers. The smell of promise in the air. Autumn in Melbourne always smells like promise.
His grey suit, nice cut, looking like he forked out a bit for it. Maybe he’s on his way to an interview. He’s nervous. Low self-esteem. The shoes are worn but polished and just a bit too much after-shave scent trailing in his wake. Soapy, with undertones of cigarette smoke. Hands shaking gently as he wraps them around the cardboard cup, flicks the lid off, blows on the coffee.
It’s one of those pretty coffees. The barista has taken care, drawn a delicate swirl in the crema, shaped like a love heart. If the guy had looked closely it might have been warning enough. But only if he’d recognised the symbol. And why would he? He was a regular guy, with ordinary hopes and petty fears, feeling a bit flat on a Tuesday morning, wanting the buzz of a caffeine lift.
He wasn’t one of us.Read More

White Night, Melbourne

Phew! Last night we debuted The Whispering Society as part of White Night Melbourne. We had over 1000 people through our four locations, seeking out signs of the paranormal and sharing their stories over the 12 hours.

For the moment we’re resting up, but we couldn’t resist sharing some photos from the night.

Thanks to our amazing game runners, Madeline Anderson, Jack Beeby, Sam Dowdswell, Jason Cavenagh and Dave Lamb. Also massive thanks to the volunteer staff of the State Library of Victoria who went above and beyond to help out with all our payers and Gwyn Morfey who stepped in as emergency game runner to help out when we were overwhelmed by numbers of players.

Stay tuned for Emilie Collyer’s conclusion to The Whispering Society.


The Whispering Society for White Night Melbourne

Some exciting news, we’ve just been commissioned to develop a brand new game for White Night Melbourne next February!

In the alleys and the echoing dark, in the halls and forgotten corridors, in the haunted places of the city you will find The Whispering Society. Searchers into the paranormal, The Whispering Society listens for the memories of places, gathering to hear the stories of the long forgotten. But lately the spirits have grown agitated, their whispering more urgent, more insistent and much louder. You can click here for more details…

Between Fresh Air and The Whispering Society, February is shaping up to be a busy month! Stay tuned for more details…