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Wisdom of Play is a suite of community engagement activities for May 2011. Several of the projects need support for creative materials.

UPDATE: A video about the project has been uploaded.

UPDATE II: Because TEDx (national) is uptight about it, I'm explicitly saying that this project is not directly affiliated with TEDx Bloomington. TEDx Bloomington is just one of many things happening locally in May. None of the funding raised here is going to that event, nor does backing our suite of art projects get you into Buskirk-Chumley to watch the talks. I would have thought that was obvious, but if it wasn't before, it surely is now. 

The Wisdom of Play is a suite of community engagement activities designed around the theme of our local TEDx event, scheduled May 14. During the month of May, we plan a variety of public activities that explore play, experimentation, insight, risk, adventure, wonder, perception, and curiosity.

Some of these projects have material needs, which is where you come in. We need financial assistance to fund:

Our Infinite Canvas - We need to build a kiosk that will travel to several different locations over the course of two weeks. This kiosk will be used to collect new panels for a community comic with an evolving narrative: spin off the narrative in any direction from any point in the story. We also need materials for drawing the panels and attaching them to specific places on the narrative thread for that day. The images will then be scanned and mapped in digital form onto a network, browsable on a website.

Serious Games Arcade - To help showcase local game development with serious benefits, we need to construct facades for six serious games, designed to look like a traditional upright video arcade. They will each be decorated to reflect the topic and narrative of a particular game. To save costs, we are constructing these facades out of thick cardboard around a wooden frame.

The Human Puzzle - Local artists will be commissioned to create human puzzles out of t-shirts. Each shirt will be a part of a larger scene when reunited with the others shirts in a 10-piece set. The shirts will be given to participants in an unconference after a local TEDx event, with instructions to find and arrange their scenes. This will be an ice-breaker for the event.

Toy Boxes - Special geocache treasures will be built by a local hacker group. Each box will require solving a physical or electronic puzzle, or performing a task (e.g., taking the box to a second location). Our hacker-designers will build six toy boxes and situate them around town. The unique devices will be used to collect digital materials, like pictures or geolocation, that will be reused for a video.

Taming the Butterfly - A community ARG to promote digital fluency will be run from May 5 through May 12. This game will feature daily puzzles requiring some special clues to be printed and hidden around town in different locations, to connect online and physical places. Funding will help support printing costs for the iconic markers.

For more information about our Wisdom of Play events,

The variety of activities is designed to involve a number of niche groups and organizations in the creation of these artifacts, and to engage many other parts of the community through the Wisdom of Play experiences. Our bigger picture goal is to generate new connections, skills and insights.

With your help, we can realize our dream of massive community engagement with the arts and with each other through these creative activities. The target amount will allow us to support the basic vision for each project. With additional funding beyond our $2000 goal, we will be able to be more elaborate with the constructions and expand the number of experiences we can support.

All backers at the $29 or above will receive a DVD containing all of the official videos generated from and about Wisdom of Play, plus a number of other digital artifacts to explore.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    2 backers

    GOOD KARMA, and the ability to follow along with behind-the-scenes updates that won't go on the Wisdom of Play website ( or Twitter feed (@wisdomofplay).

  • Pledge $19 or more
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    3 backers

    AN INVITATION to meet developers of the serious games in our arcade, prior to the official opening, to get some expert instruction and strategy on how to play their games. You will also be mentioned in a special thank-you document will be included on the DVD and in a blog post in May. Plus, the Good Karma.

  • Pledge $29 or more
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    3 backers

    A DVD documenting the Wisdom of Play events, containing the videos and other digital artifacts generated by our projects. Included with the DVD will be a single panel from the Our Infinite Canvas project. You will also get sponsorship credit on a digital panel in the Our Infinite Canvas website comic—your name will be added to the scan of a particular panel of your choosing—and a thank-you tweet from @wisdomofplay. (Don't have a Twitter account? Consider getting one during "Taming the Butterfly.") All of the above rewards are also included.

  • Pledge $59 or more
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    7 backers Limited (3 left of 10)

    A PUZZLE PIECE from one of the 10-piece art sets for The Human Puzzle, created specifically for backers at this level. We will make a special presentation to this group and capture video of the assembled puzzle, to be included on the DVD. You will also receive all rewards for the small-dollar funding levels ($29 or less).

  • Pledge $99 or more
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    2 backers

    A FRAMED THREE-PANEL SERIES from the public contributions in the Our Infinite Canvas project. You can select a starting and ending sequence from the final narrative collected during the first two weeks of May. You will also receive all rewards for the small-dollar funding levels ($29 or less).

  • Pledge $129 or more
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    3 backers

    LOTSA PERSONAL BRANDING throughout our projects. This includes your name: mentioned in-game during Taming the Butterfly; thanked in the "Mission:X" documentary video; on the Our Infinite Canvas kiosk for one day; painted on the side of a Serious Games Arcade facade; written on the interior of a Toy Box; and, included on one of the Human Puzzle shirts. We will interview you for a short blog post about you. You will also receive all rewards for the small-dollar funding levels ($29 or less).

  • Pledge $199 or more
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    0 backers

    THE COMBO LEVEL combines rewards from the $99 and $129 levels. You get the full LOTSA PERSONAL BRANDING package plus the FRAMED THREE-PANEL SERIES from the Our Infinite Canvas project. You will also receive all rewards for the small-dollar funding levels ($29 or less).

  • Pledge $400 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    BECOME A HOST for Wisdom of Play events. There are three such opportunities you will control. (1) Select the location for the Mission:X flashmob, captured for posterity on video. (2) Become a drop point for physical messages in the Taming the Butterfly game. (3) Host the Our Infinite Canvas kiosk for a day. These are opportunities to draw some attention to a business or organization of your choosing (they can each be different locations). There are some practical restrictions involved (e.g., it has to be in Bloomington, Indiana) but we can work with you to find a suitable place for this project. In addition, you will receive a FRAMED THREE-PANEL SERIES from Our Infinite Canvas, and all rewards for the small-dollar funding levels ($29 or less).

Funding period

- (22 days)