The Big Urban Game was commissioned by the Design Institute of the University of Minnesota as a part of its Twin Cities Design Celebration, with the goal of encouraging the residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul a way to see their surroundings in a whole new way, and to think about the design of urban space.
The game is a race between three teams, each of which is attempting to move a 25-foot high inflatable game piece through a series of Twin Citiesí checkpoints in the shortest amount of time.
The game is played by the residents of the Twin Cities. Players begin by joining one of the three teams: red, yellow, or blue. Each day, local newspapers show the current locations of the three inflatable pieces along with two possible routes to each pieceís next checkpoint. Players choose the route that they feel is the fastest, and either call the BUG 800 number or vote on-line for their favorite. Each evening, a team of volunteer movers carries the pieces through the city, following the route that received the most votes. The time it takes to travel the route is recorded and added to that teamís total time.
During the days of the race, the piece stands as a landmark at its current location, and becomes a center for community activity. Players can travel to the pieceís location and roll a giant set of dice. The totals generated by the dice rolling of each team are compared, and the team with the highest total gets a head-start in that eveningís run.
On the last day of the game, all three pieces race towards the final checkpoint: Lake Street Bridge. Each teamís total time is calculated, and the team with the lowest cumulative time is declared the winner.
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