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Review: Cloud Warriors is a trivia game played on a Twitter wall (Includes interview and first-hand account)

Using the native televisions above the bar, and a digital projector and screen in the lounge, Cagneys, an otherwise spacious restaurant on Queen St in Mississauga, was transformed into a game show studio and cybernetic arena in which 20 or more contestants could compete using their iPhones and Android devices.

At about 6 p.m., two dozen competitors limbered their fingers and readied themselves for battle.

Alex  the owner of Cagneys in Mississauga

Alex, the owner of Cagneys in Mississauga

Cloud Warriors is a live trivia game where the questions are impossibly hard. The contestants must use their personal devices to surf the web and find correct information, and then race to tweet their answers with #CloudWarriors hashtag so it appears on a specialized Twitter Wall set to display answer tweets in chronological order — first correct answer wins the cash.

Starting at 6 p.m. sharp, the team from SURROUND Digital launched the game in the crowded bar. The bar’s regulars and friends of the owner played quietly in the back, while the lounge area upfront was thick with folks who drove in from miles around to attend the debut event. Most people knew about the party from the blogs and articles they’d found on Smart Canucks, and Deb Lewis City Events blog describing the upcoming attraction, but nobody really knew what to expect.

When the game started, the first questions showcased menu items, and asked for the names of local politicians and requested information relating to a variety of different Mississauga businesses. The very first challenge asked competitors to find the Latin name for Asian Tiger Shrimp.

By design, the first challenge was the easiest question to answer; competitors simply punched ‘Asian Tiger Shrimp’ into their phones, and the Latin name popped right up. Wikipedia has it in the page title. After a quiet couple of minutes, the answer tweets started pouring in on the Twitter Wall and the first reply read Penaeus monodon beside #cloudwarriors and this correct answer was instantly rewarded with a crisp 20-dollar bill.
The next question challenged participants to find and tweet the secret ingredient in Cagney’s Bourbon Sour, and to everyone’s surprise the bartender @otalat tweeted ‘Frangelico’ beside #cloudwarriors in two seconds flat, and she won $20 while everyone else was still searching Cargney’s online menu.

Organized into four rounds of five questions each, the challenges got progressively harder as the game advanced. In Round Two the participants had to search Rotten Tomatoes to find and tweet James Cagney’s highest rated movie, and the year it was released (White Heat, 1949).

James Cagney s Best Movie?

James Cagney’s Best Movie?

In Round Three, the challengers were asked to find and tweet the height of Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls (775 ft from the base of the falls). In Round Four there were even more contestants as word spread of the cash prizes, and that’s when the questions got really hard. The whole bar was asked to find and tweet the meaning of the anagram S.W.A.T. in SWAT Wildlife Raccoon Removal, and this can only be found by reading the About Us section of their website. (SWAT = Specialized Wildlife Apprehension Technician)

Geoff Whitlock the event organizer, proudly described Cloud Warriors as the first truly 21st century competitive sport and one which tests both humans and their devices. “Cloud Warriors showcases whole new skill sets. It measures each contestant’s rapid research abilities, and their touchscreen keyboard typing skills,” Geoff continued, “And player’s devices are tested too, their connection speed and even their battery strength is a factor in this game.”

Host with Grand Prize

Host with Grand Prize

Finally the evening came to a dramatic conclusion with the Grand Prize question. Donated by TeraGo Network cloud services, the Host held up an IdeaWorks Wifi Antenna which lets users login and use public networks (or any WiFi network) up to ½ mile away. This would extend the reach and efficacy of the winning #cloudwarriors superpower — the ability to summon mankind’s vast knowledge on any subject and put it in the palm of their hands.

The Host read aloud the final challenge which asked participants to find and tweet the URL of the article on Mississauga Life that first described Cloud Warriors to the world, published earlier in the month. It wasn’t exactly difficult, but tweeting the URL required users to find the piece on the website, and then open it to use the buttons above the text, rewriting the auto generated tweet to include the necessary #cloudwarriors tag, and doing it all faster than anyone else.

Grand Prize Winner!

Grand Prize Winner!

And that’s exactly what the Grand Prize winner did — Michael Kachia won by going through the magazine website and using Twitter buttons on the article, and not by trying to cut and paste the URL into Twitter on his phone to make a custom tweet.

The game was a big success with over $750 dollars in cash and prizes given to pub patrons in Mississauga. @Cagneys3 Twitter following has just about doubled and the bar enjoyed about 150 percent more business than they would have otherwise got on a Tuesday night, not including the special appetizers and drinks dispensed as part of the game.

So what’s next for Cloud Warriors? Look for this game coming to a pub near you in 2015.

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