Swindon Launch of BBC Big Screen
Shoppers in Swindon became the first in the UK to enjoy the free, open air entertainment offered by the BBC Big Screen on Saturday.
The latest screen to be unveiled by the BBC launched with three specially commissioned interactive games.
Paradash, Shoo the Rabbit and Spin it for a Minute were all devised by Swindon-based game-makers, Evil Twin Artworks, with input from local community groups.
The Big Screens are being rolled out across the UK in time for the Olympics in 2012, when it is expected they will form a focus for communities to come together and watch the Games. Liverpool, Manchester, Hull and Bristol are among the UK cities to already have screens up and running, but this is the first time that the interactive nature of the screens has been tapped into with games that passers by can join in and play.
The three games are all based on consultations with local groups: Paradash is a racing game designed with ideas from pupils at Uplands School; Shoo the Rabbit, will see players doing just that with an animated rabbit, based on the experience of people from Stratton Gardening Club!
Spin it for a Minute is a high tech interpretation of the old fashioned spinning plate game inspired by mums and tots at the Westcott Centre Playgroup.
James Carroll from Evil Twin Artworks said, ”It has been fantastic making pioneering work right here in Swindon and being able to consult with groups who have given us such wonderful ideas”.
Erik Burnett-Godfree, Swindon’s Big Screen Producer said, “This is a first for Swindon. I’m really proud that we are leading the way with new games that will be rolled out at BBC Big Screens across Britain.”
Caroline Norbury, South West Screen’s Chief Executive said. “Games like this help underline the fact that enjoying entertainment on the screen doesn’t have to be a passive activity but is something everyone can get involved with. We’re delighted to be a part of this exciting launch in Swindon and hope people really enjoy playing these games.”
The initial signs were promising and shoppers in Swindon braved the less than summery weather to take part. These were some of the comments made on the day:
“(The games are) good for children. Shows them how to interact together and teaches them coordination.”
“Seems to be very popular. My granddaughter loved it.”
“I think it’s brilliant and keeps children entertained and keeps them fit.
“I think it’s really good because it’s something to do with the screen. It’s better than films because it’s interactive and entertains the crowds. I had a go with the first game and won. It was really good fun.”
“It’s very different. It’s more interactive than having a handheld console. You can make friends with other people. It’s not complicated so you can join in straight away.”
The interactive games will now be rolled out at other Big Screens across the UK.