Video Gamers Race On Times Square Billboard
03/23/2004 09:39 AM
The bright lights of Times Square tend to draw the eyes of drivers and passers-by, but a new billboard is a whole new kind of distraction.
Copyright © 2008 NY1 News
High above Times Square, there is now a gigantic video car racing game that anyone with a cellphone can play. Of course, you need to be nearby to see the screen, at 43rd and Broadway.
How do you stand perfectly still in the middle of Times Square while dodging traffic in a race car? NY1 Tech Beat Reporter Adam Balkin explains in the following report.
Count them - there are more than a dozen, maybe two dozen television-like billboards in Times Square, but one may be of particular interest to you. That's because you can control it, as long as you have a mobile phone.
The ad, by Yahoo! Autos, is actually a racing game anyone can play.
“The game works by dialing an 800 number. You find out if you're in the queue line to play the game, and when you're next in line it'll tell you which car you are - the right or the left - and you use the Î2’ button or the Î8’ button to make it go faster or slower,” says Jennifer Aman of Yahoo! Autos. “You just race against the computer or someone else on the street with you.”
You don't need the latest, high tech, state of the art cell phone to play - you just need any old cell phone and a warm thumb.
The game is kind of like those old Hot Wheels games where you set up the track and just control the speed of the car, with no steering. If you try to floor it the whole way, watch out pedestrians!
“I was a crazy driver, but it was lots of fun,” says one participant.
“It was pretty cool,” says another.
For the next month, the game will run for about 25 minutes out of every hour. The game will be up from now until April 22.
And although you can play from anywhere in the world, if you're interested in winning, it’s best to be within sight of the screen.
To play, call 1-800-660-4402.
- Adam Balkin