I Like Frank took place online and on the streets using 3G phones. Players in the real city chat with players in the virtual city as they search for the elusive Frank. Whether playing on the streets or logging from around the world, players build relationships, swap information and test the possibilities of a hybrid space.
The game invites players to search for Frank through the streets of Adelaide. Online Players move through a virtual model of the city, opening location specific photos. One photo reveals the location of a hidden object. Online Players then enlist a Street Player to go to that location and retrieve it. In the Exeter Hotel, in a pool hall and in saddle bags on bicycles were four different postcards each with a question for the Street Player to answer such as, ‘Who do you think of when you feel alone?’ Once an Online Player persuades a Street Player to fetch a postcard, they can enter a new virtual Adelaide saturated in red where Frank is waiting in a photographic ‘Future Land’.
Street Players receive messages onto their phones that reveal that the creator of the game and Frank spent time together in Adelaide in the past. By walking through the north eastern part of the city Street Players follow in their footsteps. The game culminates with an interaction with a glimpsed figure at ‘Future Land’, a leafy sunken atrium between four mirrored office blocks. Via a video call on their phone they answer the question on their postcard and address it to an online player.
Three members of Blast Theory and two members of the Mixed Reality Lab spent three months in Adelaide working with five local artists and scientists (Bianca Barling, Brian Degger, Anne Marie Kohn, Justin McGuinness and Aaron Stafford) to create I Like Frank. The music is by Iain Dalrymple and you can hear more of his work here.
I Like Frank in Adelaide was produced during Blast Theory’s appointment as Adelaide Thinkers in Residence for 12 weeks; an annual programme which brings world-leading thinkers to live and work in Adelaide. Programme partners included the Dept. of the Premier and Cabinet, Adelaide Fringe 2004, m.Net, SA Film Corporation, Australian Network for Art & Technology and Dept. of Education and Children’s Services, with support from Internode, the Arts & Humanities Research Board, Australia Council for the Arts, Technology School of the Future, Australian Film Commission, Arts SA and Dept. of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology.