Two Saturdays ago, 600 eager fashion geeks swarmed through the streets of London in an attempt to win the star prize of Swarovski’s Discover Your Light treasure hunt. The smartphone-operated SCVNGR game had its participants running in pairs from pillar to post, picking up clues from London’s fashion/music/art establishments. As the clock struck four, the game switched off and players headed back to base at The Royal Horticultural Hall in Pimlico.
As a blog partner (I supplied Vogue House as one of the clues), I was invited to the event to see the winners collect their prizes. Others London creatives who had submitted clues included Mary Katrantzou, artist Mark Titchner and writer Joe Dunthorne, a high profile roll call as befits a Swarovski event.
My interest in the project was to see how it was received by the public and what kind of punters such a game attracted. The general consensus was that although it got off to a slow start (there were grumbles at the beginning as players wanted to get on with the game), the game itself was exciting, engaging and a great way to learn about London. The participants were mostly twenty-somethings whose main objective was to win the big prize – a 5-star trip to Florence – or maybe a much-coveted Nirvana ring. As the weary players were fed and watered post-treasure hunt, the winners and runners up were invited on to the stage to collect their prizes (over £20,000 worth of glittering prizes were given out). The winning couple had practically sprinted the entire hunt to save time – I’d say their prize was well deserved.
SCVNGR is a new discovery for me, I’m not really into games, but it made me pay attention and I can certainly see now why people would want to take part – especially when luxury brands like Swarovski get involved. Now that they have set a precedent for fashion and luxury brands in the gamification space, I’ll be keeping an eye on who does what next.