You Can't Have Idiotarod Without Idiot
From Greenpoint to Long Island City, the race was on over the weekend in NYC. That's right it is Idiot racing time again. People dressed up in their finest costume, mascot wear, or phallic form, and took to the pavement, shopping carts in toe to determine a winner in 2007.
The Idiotarod has become an annual event, drawing lots of participants, its roots firmly planted in spirit with Alaska's famous doggy race, the Iditarod.
However, in New York City the dogs are replaced by funny idiot's in costumes who's tool of the trade is a shopping cart...
In fact games are really becoming the norm in NYC. I included another article about the rise of games, and their participants, the majority meet on-line and then hit the streets to interact and play.
Despite winter being upon us, the hipsters of New York took to the streets yesterday with strange, creative outfits and shopping carts in this year's Idiotarod. What's the Idiotarod, you ask? It's like the annual Iditarod from Nome to Anchorage except with teams of human idiots replacing dogs. Some of the more creative costumes we noticed: Wonderwoman, the Noid (think Domino's Pizza campaign), the McDonald's mascots, the Cosbys, Ghostbusters with the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, the Baseball Furies, and a team of male strippers. Also following the race was a penis canon.
Most of the players were young professionals, artists and technology enthusiasts. News of the games spread online, mostly on blog sites such as What's Up: NYC and digg.com just days before the festival. Locations and game details were kept quiet, too; they were sent via text message only to participants.
Big games are generally on the scale of city blocks rather than pixels or board game squares. There is a philosophy to setting the games in tight urban places that leads to talk among enthusiasts, such as New York University professor Frank Lantz, who teaches a class on the subject, of "altering the urban landscape" and "putting public space in play."
"Everyone pontificates about the theory behind all this, and how it changes urban space, yadda, yadda," said Greg Trefry, one of the festival's organizers, who studied under Lantz. "But what hooked me is running down the street jumping over garbage cans. I thought, 'Wow, this is just the highest-resolution game you'll ever play, and this is really fun.' "