EVENT: Street Reads (Saturday, 13 September 2014)

street readsFrom 3-16 September 2014, Brisbane City Council hosted the second annual Street Reads event. Street Reads is an interactive walking and reading experience inspired by Brisbane City.

You can start in Reddacliff Place or at the State Library. All you have to do is follow the Street Reads map and scan the QR codes to access the information. There are three stories you can follow:

Guardian of the Nexus
You are uploading your avatar into the Nexus Brisbane Virtual City Simulator, just another traveller checking out cyberspace. But something is seriously wrong. You’ll be racing against time to work with or against two escaped A.I.s while the very buildings of Brisbane are transformed around you. Will you choose the path of chaos or order?

A Pirate Captain
You are a notorious buccaneer whose ship is docked in Brisbane while you prepare to outfit her for your next voyage. Pirates face danger on land as well as at sea, and in gathering skilled crewmates and vital equipment you’ll need to race against enemies including your rival, the dastardly Captain Neckbeard. Grab your pirate patch and start an adventure. Yo-ho!

Rise of the Roaches
Brisbane is about to be over-run with mutant brain-eating cockroaches, and you’re at Ground Zero. Can you rally the defence of the city? Can you derail the nefarious plans of the shadowy consortium behind the invasion? First you need to survive. Strap yourself in for an adventure that crosses Matthew Reilly with mutant cockroaches!

IMG_4400.JPGEach story is a choose your own adventure deal. I chose to follow Rise of the Roaches, so I followed the story around the city with my mum (who is much better at reading maps than I am) and chose different paths.

Every picture uploaded to social media puts you in the draw to win the grand prize listed on their website, so long as you tagged it with #streetreads14 and the tag for your adventure (mine was #mutantroach).

I uploaded the pictures via my personal Instagram for the competition but you can now see them all on the Commas and Ampersands Instagram account.

IMG_4405-0.JPGWinners were due to be notified on 23 September and I have no idea who won but it was a lot of fun to just get to see my city in a different light. I went down alleys and streets I’d never looked twice at and loved imagining the stories taking place there.

IMG_4404.JPGAfter finishing the adventure (my character was whisked away to safety), I looked around and noticed that one of the other Rise of the Roaches paths had a QR code nearby. I decided to follow it.

IMG_4407.JPGApparently my first path was a much better choice because this second path ended very quickly when I was engulfed in a massive explosion.

While the Street Reads competition is over for the year, you can still download a copy of the map and take on one of the adventures. The signs around Brisbane have been taken down but the QR codes for each adventure are listed in the document.

Street Reads is a fun way to spend an afternoon and each story takes less than an hour to complete. I don’t go into the city too often these days but, once I get back from America, I think I’ll take on the other stories when I get a chance.

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