On 26 March 2010, Hide&Seek and the V&A Lates team filled the museum with games and play. Over the course of four hours, 4500 people came through the museum doors to find themselves in the middle of some astonishing games.
At the technological end, Marc Owens’ You Versus the Rest of the World XI gave people a third-person view of themselves as they donned video glasses and tried to take penalty shots against a real-world goalkeeper; and Berlin Invisible Playground’s Silent Relay invited four players at a time to navigate the museum and the crowds to intricately-timed mp3 tracks that had them meeting, trading information, following and disappearing around the museum.
At the low-tech end, Gideon Reeling presented a night of Victorian parlour games in the gorgeous V&A cafe, while Tin Horse Theatre’s Wedlock sent players back to help Cupid and Psyche around the museum, culminating in an enormous choir performance in the cast courts.
There was spectacle: Tuna Technology’s The Sky’s The Limit set teams to work as they desperately tried to win enough string to send their bundle of illuminated 2-foot helium balloons above the V&A rooves. There was movement: Segue asked players to guide dancers around the South Asia gallery, which was difficult as the dancers responded only to music. Two groups of students from the Royal College of Arts tried out new ideas, one with gameshow razzmatazz and the other calling on players to create scenes from giant multicoloured boxes. Failbetter Games and A Door In A Wall created An Expedition with Mr Mirrors, based in the world of popular web game Echo Bazaar. Area/Code’s Budgetball also made a showing, along with Andy Wilson’s 100 Things and Playlab’s Ichi-Face.
The night culminated in the unwrapping of the Impossibly Large Pass the Parcel, from 815Agency, to reveal hundreds of paper cranes and goose feathers to accompany the leaves, balloons, false moustaches, decorated ping-pong-balls, mirror circles and hats that had been revealed beneath previous layers.