Charging a cell phone is hardly an exciting task, although the Tokyo- and New York-based creative collective Party aims to change that with "Plug-In Championship."
Billed as "the world’s first charging-based sports iPhone and Android app," "Plug-In Championship" transforms cell phone charging into game play while promoting Toyota’s Prius PHV plug-in hybrid. "Until now the action of plugging in the charger [of your phone] has only been carried out because you were in need, however, we redefined this action as an interaction for creating entertainment," says Party creative director Qanta Shimizu.
There isn’t much work involved in playing the game. Players need to simply download and launch the free app. They are greeted by a gauge that quickly moves up and down, and they must try to insert the plug into the phone just as the gauge reaches its highest point. Players are then rewarded with a burst of video. Party produced twenty videos for the app, and they range from "exhilarating to silly," according to Shimizu. While one clip shows a watermelon exploding in all of its pink glory, the cork pops off a bottle of Champagne in another. Other videos include a gushing geyser and a kid flying by on a water slide.
How many points a player earns depends on where the aforementioned gauge was when they plugged their charger into the phone. Players who score high enough enter a rankings system, and the winners are awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold medals. Those who don’t win on a worldwide scale can take solace in the fact that they might very well be able to earn a top score in their country, city or even their neighborhood. "You might be able to win a Gold at SoHo in New York," Shimizu explains.