Cell Phones to Replace Game Controllers: The Next Generation of Potato Sack Races

We’ve already shown you how ZooBurst is changing pop-up books, now designer Elie Zananiri, who was also featured at the NYU Tisch School’s ITP spring show Monday, is changing the potato sack racing game forever. Yes, that’s right. Potato sack racing.

As Zananiri told me, the game is an online potato sack race that you control using your voice. To play, you dial the community number displayed on the screen (above) to register for the next game. Each player’s phone number is then connected to one lane of the racetrack, and their last 4 digits are displayed on screen.

Yelling “JUMP!” into your phone will move the player forward, hopping along. The longer you scream, the further you go, but if you yell for too long, your player will fall. Up to five players can play at a time.

The game’s innovation comes from doing away with Wii remotes and other game controllers, and replacing such peripherals with a device most people have nowadays: a cell phone.

Zananiri imagines bringing this potato sack racing game to bars, but there is clearly serious potential here for dial-in cell phone games beyond drunken-frat parties. Check out the video below to see the game in action–it gets noisy! What other ways could you see using this technology?