We were asked to attract the attention of 15-24 year-old gamers who came to the VGXPO to play, to socialize, and to show off or learn new gaming skills.
Our target market might not be willing to ask science questions in this social environment, thus we needed a centerpiece to attract and maintain a baseline crowd, so that others would approach – ideally, something people would be willing to wait for. We needed a game. A BIG game.
Our answer to the VGXPO's challenge was to offer a 25-foot laser projection of the classic game Asteroids as our centerpiece. For over 6 years, Wondergy has offered an expertise in Laser Show projection and while we occasionally present traditional "laser shows," we primarily use it as a centerpiece around which to explore the science concepts that make it possible. Thus Laser Asteroids was a clear fit as a centerpiece. We filled a 20-foot booth with equipment related to the science of laser shows and Wondergy Scientists who really knew their stuff. In addition to the laser projection of Asteroids, the booth offered "fire-spinning," color mixing, a demonstration of the inner workings of a laser, and a sample of toys that worked by the same principle as the laser projection.
Asteroids and the educational activities in the booth attracted constant crowds. Multiple simultaneous activities allowed for many people to hang around and try their hand at everything, without losing interest. The good-natured competition of Asteroids and the interesting exhibits created a large number of repeat visitors to our booth. Young and old alike were attracted to our "mess with our display" area. Skilled fire-spinners gave impromptu shows while novices felt safe enough to test their skills. Our staff helped conference participants relate their experiences to the laser show, explaining that Asteroids game worked by moving just one laser dot around very quickly. Guests were often so surprised that they asked us to pause the game laser to prove it, an example of the participant-driven experimentation that we encourage.
As we expected, guests were as engaged with learning as with our giant video game.
Our Client's Response
The science of video games; what a cool idea! You reached our target audience perfectly. This is not just kids stuff. Your giant Laser projected Asteroids game attracted a consistent crowd, and could be seen throughout the exhibit hall. I was amazed by guests' interest in the educational side of things. Kids, Adults, and even teens and 20-somethings were showing off their skills with spinning and color mixing, teaching each other how different demos worked, and asking lots of questions about the science of it all.
I also wanted to thank you for your contagious enthusiasm and your flexibility, making this event the best that it could be. Your flexibility with schedule changes and load-in dynamics made our jobs much easier. The volunteers we sent you came back raving and demanding to work with you for subsequent days. Your participation in VGXPO added both a highlight and a unique aspect to our event at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Thank you for making our convention interesting and exciting!
President, VGXPO: America's VideoGame Expo