Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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City-Wide Street Art Game

Pavement/Sidewalk art enters the Olympics
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For this game you will need dry weather and some paint or chalk. You will also need a city with a tight network of streets; it will help if the streets are winding and have lots of buildings inbetween. An area of around 1-4 square miles might be best. You will also need a detailed map of the city or a set of to-scale aerial photographs.

The game involves 2 groups of people. There is the puzzle-setter, who will require a combination of artistic talent and bravado, as well as the ability to paint quickly and discreetly. Also there are the puzzle-solvers, who require artistic talent and bravado in conjunction with quick thinking and the ability to read a map.

The way the game proceeds is this. On a selected day, the puzzle-setter proceeds onto the streets with paint or chalk, having in mind an image or picture to draw. They make marks on the sidewalk/pavement of different streets. To the casual observer, these marks will not be significant, but to someone watching the progress from a satellite they will be highly significant, forming parts of the image superimposed onto the streets below.

However the puzzle-solvers will not be watching from above. They have to run around the streets looking for traces of paint, marking them on the maps in their hands, trying to work out what the puzzle-setter is drawing. Once they have an idea, they take out their own paints and try to complete the picture before the setter can. Each time the puzzle-setter comes to an already-painted place, they identify the team by their paint colour and score that team one point. If the solvers paint the wrong place, they score nothing.

The winner is the player who can complete the most of the image. Anyone skilled at watching Rolf Harris-type "Can you guess what it is yet?" art will have an advantage, but the ability to think on your feet and navigate speedily will also be essential. One area to be decided on for each game is the size of the marks to be made. Ambitious games with large amounts of paint could produce an image visible from above. More modest players would mark out only token spots that would only be visible when connected on a map. If this idea comes to fruition, I imagine Saturday afternoon shopping expeditions to be regularly interrupted by gangs of art students with paint brushes eager to map out Titian's "Three Ages of Man" 2 miles wide on the streets of my home town.

[If this doesn't make any sense, I'll try to explain it more clearly. But I already tried, so I don't know if I'll manage to.]

pottedstu, Dec 17 2001

peruvian version http://www.crystalinks.com/nasca.html
seen better from above [po, Dec 17 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       This would be very cool if it worked.   

       The paint would have to wash away quite easily if you wanted to be able to play more than once in the same area.   

       It would be quite amusing to see someone stop all the traffic on a busy city street and paint, say, half a lyre, (or whatever) across the carriageway.
stupop, Dec 17 2001
  

       But not too easily washed away, or this game would be rather easy to cheat at simply by washing away the paint marks once your team has copied them onto your map (bwah-hah-hah!).
Guy Fox, Dec 17 2001
  

       baked - see link - the peruvians have been playing this for years
po, Dec 17 2001
  

       po: I though Nasca was aliens playing this game. And maybe that's what crop circles are about too (whether human or alien origin). It'd also be nice if you could take a map of London, mark on all the undertakers, joined them up, and they formed a little picture of a skull.
pottedstu, Dec 17 2001
  

       That would be a good little game for the planning authorities to play.
stupop, Dec 17 2001
  

       join up all the bakers shops and get a croissant
po, Dec 17 2001
  

       I like the idea...Maybe rather than a game, have them pre-painted, and people who can put them together win a prize <A t-shirt or something>...   

       Would make a boring spectator sport, but no more so than most of the other Olympic games...
StarChaser, Dec 17 2001
  

       How long might it take the seekers to find all the points/pieces? We're talking about having to travel *every* street in the city, and assumes the pieces are easy to see and haven't been mucked with.   

       Might be more sporting to give the players a hint book to lead them to the various pieces.
phoenix, Dec 17 2001
  

       Love the concept, though the rules need abit of work (from my interpretation) it may be better as a kind of treasure hunt where each image is combined with a clue for the location of the next piece. these pieces would need to be put together to form the picture, the team correctly completing the image first and returning to the start point wins. I will at some point play this game and let you know how it goes.
pierced sg, Oct 21 2002
  
      
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