Hunting for Treasure

Most of the time, people need a bit of persuading to play a pervasive game; they want an explanation of how it works and what you're supposed to do. The scavenger hunt inhabits a strange and privileged position. People understand how it works; what you're supposed to do. It makes sense. But on the other hand, a lot of scavenger hunts are — at least from a design perspective — not very interesting. "Hunting for Treasure" was an attempt to take a basic scavenger hunt form and see what happened with the input of six different artists, led by Yara El-Sherbini.

Two balcony levels of the Newcastle Discovery Museum.
The Discovery Museum, Newcastle

The hunt took place in the Discovery Museum, Newcastle. My part consisted primarily of writing clues, and secondarily of sitting around saying "but how does that function as a game?" until everyone else was thoroughly sick of me; but in the end we combined clue-solving, trail-following, live puzzles, acting, food and music in a neatly-designed game that led to four different spots on a map — leaving a few teams running around to disparate corners of the museum until one of them realised that the four spots could be joined in an X to mark the spot...