I have long admired Jane McGonigal for her work designing games to connect people. In Cruel 2 B Kind, players are told a phrase that they have to use on people like: “Wonderful weather we’re having!”. When Player A happens to use the phrase on another player (B), B is beaten and joins A’s team. Players are not visually identified, so gameplay involves walking around the city and talking to lots of random people.
I have to admit, when I read the headline “StreetPong” I totally envisioned a ball or people being tossed or racing back and forth across a street. That would be dangerous, but wacky cool.
What really happens is that the stoplight call button has been converted into a touchscreen where, provided there’s a willing opponent on the opposite side of the street, you engage in a match. A cool way to connect random people and pass that annoying time while you stand waiting for a signal.
Now, if it could just go massively multiplayer.