Street Games

Recently, when we changed over to the new, smaller coins, the council went around replacing all the old (digital) meters with new, pay-and-display ones. The old meters had one meter for every 8 or so parks, and you selected the park you were paying for before paying. Inset into the footpath by each parking space, therefore, there was a cobblestone bearing a number from 1 to 8, to identify the parking space.

When they switched over to the new meters, they went along with a sandblaster and blasted off all the numbers, leaving several long series of blank cobblestones inset into the pavement at regular intervals. Walking home one night, Hayley and I got thinking: What could one do with these cobblestones?

Our first thought was to chalk or spray-paint (with a stencil) random squares from board games: "Forward 3 squares", "Roll again", "Park Terrace", "Double Word Score", "Go to Jail", "Triple letter score" and the like, to create some amusement and confusion.

But why not go one step further? Why not invent our own game people could play on the cobblestones? The question now is: what? There are a few criteria any game would have to meet:
  • Easy to play. The rules need to be either implicit and easily figured out, or explicit and very short.
  • Minimal resources. Even requiring people to have a dice is probably too much.
  • Symmetric. People will be approaching from either end. They should be able to play it starting from either end.
The layout of the parks is:
  • 14 'serial' parks
  • 20 parallel parks
  • 20 serial parks
  • A cross-street
  • 12 serial parks
  • 15 serial parks
  • 16 serial parks
This lends itself to either one rather long game, or perhaps 2 or 6 mini-games. Or, we could just go back to the idea of putting random game squares on them.

So: suggestion time! What crazy things should we do with this?

Incidentally, the new meters are solar powered, and accept payment via credit card and cellphone (presumably via a GPRS modem for recieving instructions and clearing payments). How cool is that?

The new meters
Blank cobblestones
Parallel park spacing
'Serial' park spacing
Solar powered!


blog comments powered by Disqus