Higher Still

From Ludocity
Higher Still
Designer: Nick Howard
Year: unknown
Players: 2+
Stuff required: Cameras/Camera phones for all.
Crew required: 1
Preparation: Five minutes.
Time required: 30 minutes+
Place required: Anywhere
Activities: Running, climbing, photography.
This is an untested game. Its rules are written, but it hasn't been tested out yet.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

Players compete to take pictures of themselves as far off the ground as possible. This could mean anything from climbing a chair, a tree, or a skyscraper to chartering a helicopter.


The game can be played over any length of time, over any area, and your preparation should consider this. The game could be played in a single room, if adequate props (chairs, tables etc) are provided, even as an engineering challenge. Conversely, it could be played across an entire city or even across the world. If that's to be the case, players should be asked to reassemble at regular intervals to compare photographs, or they could be continually uploading their pictures to a website (such as Flickr). This is to provide a competitive spirit - players can be updated on the height which they have to beat. It's useful to have a moderator to settle potential disputes.

If you're planning to have players reassemble at - for example - 30 minute intervals, designate a location which is easily accessed - probably the starting area. It's also a good idea not to make the reassemblies compulsory - players shouldn't be constantly checking the time if they're focusing on the game. Instead, they should only check in when they feel they've got a good shot, or to see what everyone else has been doing.

Set-up Instructions

Players should be assembled, and the rules of the game briefly explained to them. This should probably include a quick talk on playing the game safely, to prevent players from putting themselves at risk. If cameras are to be distributed, this should be done now. It's a good idea to provide a small handout explaining what constitutes a valid photograph - that the player has to be in shot, etcetera - and with the times and location for reassembly, or the photo-stream website address.

Note that the game can also be played in teams.

Player Instructions

You must get as far off the ground as possible, and provide photographic evidence. A valid photograph would have the player in shot, and the height should be more or less clearly visible. No prizes for artistic talent though, so don't worry about photographic skill!

Depending on the game variation, players might be asked to upload their pictures to an online gallery, or to reassemble at regular intervals to compare photographs. These reassemblies wouldn't be compulsory, but it's a good idea to check in every so often to see what the competition is up to.

The winner is the player judged to have got the furthest from the ground in the time limit.

Game Variations

In a longer game, a point-based system could be used, with points awarded not just for the final winning photograph, but relating to the speed with which players get their shots, or even for innovative solutions.

The approximate heights of multiple photographs could be added together, so that players could win on accumulated height. This prevents a boring end-game.