Thought Repository

Leaning Coincidence

This is a story about something that happened back in May, a interesting string of coincidences. At the time I was on a business trip in LA, doing a playtest for an upcoming project with PlayMotion, when we received an email from a summer intern back in our Atlanta office with a link to an interesting YouTube video. It was of people playing a breakout-style videogame in a movie theater by leaning left and right to control the paddle. My portfolio will tell you that I'd done something like that as early as 2001, probably the basis for this project, although the person who sent me the email didn't know that, he just thought it was cool and similar to what we do.

Indeed, at that very moment the project I was working on involved leaning based on my original code. As coincidental as this already was, it turned out that the theater in the video was the same one in LA that we already had tickets to see Pirates 3 at that same night (and only because the theater we wanted to go to had been sold out). Through this miracle of circumstance we were going to get to see it first-hand.

I have a friend from college, Mike Guttenplan, a directing major, that now lives in NY and does some consulting work. A couple months before I had seen him at carnival and he told me that he was doing some work for the Brand Experience Lab and that they were doing some project based off of my leaning work. They have some kind of a relationship with the ETC and so it wouldn't have been the first project they did based on ETC developed technology. The video didn't make it clear but I wondered if this was them and this could be the project he was referring to. That question was answered when I walked into the bar around the corner from the theater that night (because we had arrived too early) and there was Mike sitting at the bar.

The game had actually been an interactive advertisement for MSNBC's "Fuller Spectrum of News" ad campaign. I was familiar with this because PlayMotion had also pitched a potential project to the agency doing this campaign (not in competition with this project) that also involved removing rainbow spectrum colored blocks to reveal live headlines. Another little coincidence.