One of my most xlnt ideas is one that I have been mulling over for quite some time. I haven’t written or structured anything as I am still developing it (in the belief that it could actually be successfully implemented) – but too many things have happened over the past couple of weeks/months that suggest the time is right to share.
It may be coincidence (or serendipity?) but the final nudge came from spotting this link on the BBC homepage yesterday: The Man Behind The Masquerade a documentary on the original inspiration for my idea.
The basic premise is a straight copy of the Masquerade treasure hunt – albeit with a few contemporary twists inspired by cultural and technological developments that have happened since the original was published in 1979.
The elements copied from Masquerade would be the relative value and style of the treasure (ie. a proper artefact rather than cash) and a suite of illustrations providing clues. Our treasure hunt would however be predominantly web based (of course).
My additions to the concept are as follows:
The use of a celebrity “brit-artist” – to provide credibility, the valuable treasure and press interest. I was thinking something like Damien Hirst and his “For the Love of God” diamond encrusted skull. Although not my cup of tea at all (I would have a Peter Callesen piece of paper over any Hirst work!) but I think you get where I am coming from.
Use of GPS and geo-positioning functions – to engage the techies and to finally give them a use for all that technology in their BlackBerry’s, iPhones and handheld GPS receivers. Now I really do think that this is an area worth watching closely as it shifts from a basic technology into proper real-world applications (cultural and practical). If you haven’t already you should all read William Gibson’s Spook Country and check out the various augmented web iPhone apps that have started appearing.
Use of online communities to promote involvement and engagement – using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc is fairly obvious, but what I really want to do is to utilise and integrate the whole concept of Geocaching into the plan. That would directly engage a whole new active community of existing “treasure hunters”!
Real-time clues – include triggers as part of the clues/caches so that as people solve parts of the puzzle it triggers events such as media campaigns, emails, movement of caches or whatever. This should give a fluid feel to the hunt as well as giving helpful nudges and reminders to various players.
Now if you do a bit of research you will find loads of contemporary variants of the treasure hunt – so my idea is no means unique – but good ideas rarely are, the key is in full extent of the celebrity driven cross-media implementation, and that’s why ticking all those boxes is vital!
I’ll come back and add more ideas to this post as I think of them – and I would like to hear your opinions, comments and ideas for this too!