All-Night Adventure for TEDxTokyo: Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Dentsu, and UEI
June 10, 2011
In partnership with Dentsu, UEI will create “BANG: 100 Million Mines,” a societal contribution game designed to draw attention to the plight of Cambodians facing one landmine for every man, woman, and child in their country. The mobile game will bring this plight home, re-imagining Japan as a wasteland with 100 million landmines buried underfoot. Players will use their smartphones to seek out and disarm the buried traps, and in the process will be encouraged to donate to actual relief efforts in Cambodia. By using gameplay to solve a real-world problem, we are placing ourselves on the cutting edge of “gamification,” a process by which daily life is infused with the gaming process.
Now, here’s the catch: in order to promote this endeavor at TEDxTokyo, Dentsu and UEI had less than a single night to design the game, program a demo, and create a 30 second video to send to Mr. Mizuguchi.
And so it was that team members from UEI and Dentsu gathering together at 9 p.m. at the Akihabara Research Center (ARC, a penthouse-esque extension of the UEI headquarters) for an all-night adventure. The team gathered around a table, consulted on Skype with Mr. Mizuguchi, and then got to work:
First on the agenda was selecting a title. The requirements of appealing to both Japanese and English sensibilities led to much head-scratching before we finally settled on “BANG: 100 Million Mines:”
With this accomplished, our talented programmers set to work making a short demo of the game. As they labored away, Dentsu’s copywriters sat down and together we storyboarded the sequence of events in the video. 30 seconds may seem short, but if used properly a complex message can be conveyed in that time:
Finally, with dawn creeping over the horizon, we shot the video and edited it together, working feverishly to meet our 11 a.m. deadline.
What happened at 11 a.m., you ask? Well, that would be when we presented the finished product to Mr. Mizuguchi over Skype. To our great relief, he took an instant liking to it. And, one week later, he was on stage at TED, delivering his trademark blend of wit and insight. Watch for the “BANG” video near the very end:
Thank you, Mr. Mizuguchi, for this fantastic opportunity, and thank you Dentsu for your hard work during a long and very fun evening!