Indiana Jones and the Alley of Doom

Imagine this: You're walking down a fairly inconspicuous street -- maybe 14th, maybe somewhere in Georgetown -- somewhere where you're probably not paying much attention to the environment around you. Up ahead you notice a fellow (or lady) wearing not just the iconic Indiana Jones hat, but full-on Indiana Jones dress. Faux-Indie is standing behind a little kiosk next to an "Alley of Doom" - or at least that's what the sign above the alley says. Before you can process this Mr. Jones, something amazing happens: a second (!) Indiana comes tearing out of the alley, vaulting away from a giant bolder which stops neatly at the place where the alley and sidewalk meet.

WTF, you may ask.

This is a snapshot of "Indiana Jones and the Alley of Doom" - a pop-up experience hopefully taking place in an alley near you (if you live in least for now, but I'm getting ahead of myself). The Alley of Doom is a game that anyone can play: Walk up to Kiosk Indie, hook him (or her) up with your email address, and you'll be given the chance to recreate (and star in!) the infamous scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indie steals the statue and eventually runs from a GIANT boulder. (We skip some scenes from the real film, but will stick as close to the basic plot as the Indy would like.) Players can choose to relive the entire steal/boulder scenario, or just jump straight to the heart-pumping boulder run. Either way, strategically positioned cameras will capture the action in HD so that, at the end of the day, I or someone of my team can cut up the footage into a personalized adventure, which will then be emailed to the players and published on the web.

Who am I and why can I do this? (1) I am not afraid of snakes. (2) I'm a multimedia producer and new media "professional" (currently employed by the Sunlight Foundation, formerly employed by NPR) who has a history of participating in urban games, holds an obsession with the public commons, and believed for far longer than necessary that I was from Middle Earth. I run a website ( devoted to crowdsourcing knowledge of (and increasing attention to) public art that I run in partnership with the city of DC and just plain want to create more (crazy/informative/random/wonderful) free experiences to highlight (and expand!) the weirdness and creativity of the District's residents.

Funded by Washington, DC (August 2011)