Enlighten 2014: Deviator*

27 Feb

The 2014 Enlighten program has a lot of very cool events… it’s hard to know where to start. I’m invited to tech run/preview the Museum of Australian Democracy’s event Deviator and I can’t help but agree – at the very least to find out exactly what it’s all about! My initial impression is that it’s a bit of a ‘treasure hunt’ but rather than finding things, it’s doing things a little out of the norm… and right in our Parliamentary Triangle. I’m not far wrong!

We arrive into a side room of Old Parliament House. The first thing to know about Deviator is that there’s a bit of technology on loan and it’s a matter of handing over a driver’s licence or credit card as well as writing down credit card details to get our mitts on the equipment. The next step is to choose a ‘code name’. We play as individuals, not as teams, so Boyfriend takes our dog Cooper’s name as his code name which leaves me scrambling. I choose ‘Piggy’ which is Cooper’s favourite toy. Don’t read into that!

All right! Let's get started

All right! Let’s get started

We’re handed our Huawei phones which are connected to headphones and enter in our code names. The next step is to watch a four minute video about what to expect and how it works.

Essentially, the phone turns into a map. The headphones play ambient noise and it’s incredibly well done. Later, occasionally someone walks past me talking and I jump to turn around – but there’s no one there; it’s all in my headphones. The map shows where other ‘deviators’ are, as well as where we are (Boyfriend and I get a little confused working out which icon we are!) in real time cos it’s all tracked by GPS. What I’d describe as treasures are games to help us properly deviate, and there are ‘motherfcukers’ (not a typo; pronounced motherfacuckers) to help us out. The games are marked on the map. To ‘activate’ the game requires using the phone to scan qr codes… and those qr codes have to be found!

All right… we’re ready to go. We head outside (we’re running a little late) and come across people swinging and dancing around poles, right outside OPH. We’ve been instructed that the games further away will earn us more points so we head away… and end up in the gardens at the High Court.

Near the Portrait Gallery / High Court - scanning to work out how we're going to deviate!

Near the Portrait Gallery / High Court – scanning to work out how we’re going to deviate!

I don’t want to reveal too much about the games/deviations because that will take away from all the fun.

But, as a bit of a teaser:

  • There are 15 games across the Parliamentary Triangle (essentially Parkes)
  • I do some digging in the dirt!
  • My favourite deviation is ‘Quiet Time’ followed by ‘Kaboom’
  • At one point I get chased…
  • The qr codes can be a little hard to scan – use the flashlight (or even screen) of your other phone to light the code to scan
What could this deviation be?

What could this deviation be? (Also: it is very hard to deviate and take photos)

Enlighten is the perfect setting for deviating across the Parliamentary Triangle

Enlighten is the perfect setting for deviating across the Parliamentary Triangle

What could we possibly be doing?

What could we possibly be doing?

The phone lets you know how much you score, and gets a ‘ding’ every time someone else completes a deviation and earns points – this only serves to rile the competitive spirit in me. If you don’t give your all to a deviation and a motherfcuker notices, there are penalty points (!).

Pretty Enlighten!

Pretty Enlighten!

The 45 minutes out in the field is over quickly… Parkes is a big place! I’ve managed to complete 5 deviations… and probably would have completed 7 or more if I hadn’t spent a little too long trying to get my scanner to work in the dark (hint to really drive it home: scanners don’t work in the dark. Light the codes with your personal phones!) and hadn’t got distracted by all the Enlighten projections.

Five completed deivations for a score of 92

Five completed deivations for a score of 92

At the 45 minute mark the phone essentially ‘shuts down’ and we return to base to check our scores against others.

I'm mid way in the field... not that bad!

I’m mid way in the field… not that bad!

Mr Her Canberra does a stellar job and takes out top prize!

Our route!

Our route!

Once back at OPH we hand over our headphones and phones and get our deposits back (in my case, my license). There’s also a chance to get our route sent to us as as little keepsake.

Our deviated route :)

Our deviated route 🙂 If you look carefully you can see where a) we realised we were going the wrong way and b) I was ‘chased’

It’s a fun 45 minutes, and suits the hyper-competitive (me) or the vaguely curious. I’d like a little more ‘motherfcuker’s nearby – there were a few times where I wasn’t sure what I was doing nor what I should be doing, and it’s a little hard to tell who’s a security guard and who’s part of the fun in the dark (!). Boyfriend’s less of a fan but he still does more challenges and earns more points than me (even with a penalty)!

I’d genuinely love to give it another go (and win, of course).

* Boyfriend and I participated as guests in this tech preview of Deviator and did not pay. The normal price is $30 per person (less for concession).

Date: 27 February 2014

Where: Starting at Old Parliament House and right down to Lake Burley Griffin. Wear comfy shoes and wear a jacket if it’s cold (though we did all come back to OPH warmed through!).

Cost: Free (see above); normally $30 per adult or $25

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? For Enlighten Canberra events, try here. For a first peek at Enlighten beyond the few pics in this post, the best place to start is here. To buy your tix to Deviator (which starts from Friday, 28 Feb), head here.



5 Responses to “Enlighten 2014: Deviator*”

  1. hercanberra February 28, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    Hahahaha…I’m ‘Bear’ – I came last! So crap at maps…


  1. First look at Enlighten Canberra 2014 | In The Taratory - February 28, 2014

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    […] nothing else you’ll experience in Canberra! Oh, and if you want more details, read Tara from In The Taratory’s recap here (she’s much better with her photo taking than […]

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  4. The Confidence Man, The Street Theatre* | In The Taratory - September 20, 2015

    […] For the audience, the thrill is in being able to pick which characters to follow from our phones – we are in complete control of who we are watching or following at any one time.  This is both really clever and extremely frustrating, particularly for anyone who has a fear of missing out on something that’s happening! In only a few scenes are all the characters interacting with each other, and even then – when we can hear all the dialogue no matter which character we are following on the phones – characters are still thinking different things. It reminds me a lot of Deviator. […]

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