Outdoor Immersive Experiences - A New & Emerging form of Entertainment Within the last 12 months there have been a number of emerging outdoor experiences that follow a similar genre to Pokemon Go. Users download an App and proceed to a location to follow a narrative and play a game.
It is a fun and exciting concept. But there are several key differences in the offerings available.
What you want from your experience will help you decide which type of outdoor experience is right for you.
We want something Quick, Cheap and Fun App-based experiences can be accessed anytime. They normally cost no more than a download fee which can in turn be shared among several players if all using the same device. It's a great option for groups of two or a small group of friends or kids. These types of experiences can be played at your own pace, paused and usually have clickable help/cheats available. It's a fun way to kill some time, see an area of interest or get outside and do an activity in a cost-effective way.
However for the puzzle enthusiast or those seeking genuine immersion the experience is likely to leave you feeling devoid of that sense of accomplishment or inspiration. After all, passing the experience is only a click away and more often than not these types of apps get their puzzle content from a generic source not tailored to the area.
Other negatives may include disorientation, technical issues with no help and potentially hazardous course conditions the user is not made aware of (eg an area of the course may have been sectioned off but the app does not tell you this). There is also no protection from unscrupulous individuals in public areas who may have clued onto the path of app users.
We want a genuine Puzzle Adventure Hosted Outdoor Immersive Experiences offer the full suite of puzzle experience options and are a class above App-based experiences. They take many months of trials, testing and development as well as consultation with local council to ensure the game does not disrupt the area.
Having a host present can make all the difference in how the experience flows and allow the experience to be more complex and in-depth (in contrast to an app which must be dulled down and provide only clickable help text). They provide safety supervision as well as a briefing and debrief at the end (how things were intended to be solved).
Apps can pop-up and vanish which presents issues regarding quality, safety and overall impact on rate-payer funded areas (that are meant to be there for the benefit of the general public and not turned into an army base). Whereas Hosted experiences are run by local operators who operate under conditions and who stand behind the experience offered.
Licenced App Outdoor Experiences This is where a local company licences an App made by (normally) an overseas company. The event or experience is run - normally over a month or two - and then closes down.
The issues here are the people that run the experience may be local but they have no control over the app or app content. This means that despite feedback or complaints the operator cannot do much to improve the experience.
Hosted Experiences (built and run by the same company - not licened) have the benefit of being able to constantly improve and change the experience to make the experience better for future customers.
Fast Food Vs Fine Dining: An Analogy There is no right or wrong choice. Despite offering Hosted Experiences we do acknowledge there will always be a market for experiences that can be accessed quickly, easily and at any time and are always available.
The analogy of fast food Vs fine dining is a good one when it comes to deciding your next Outdoor Immersive Experience. If you're in the mood for something quick and easy and cost effective - sometimes grabbing drive-through or delivered fast food is the best option.
However if you're looking for a genuine experience, which focuses on quality and not quantity, then consider a Hosted Outdoor Immersive Experience for your next adventure.