The epic ‘Game of Go’: a real-time experience showcasing Nike’s latest React technology

Dutch creative production company MediaMonks, together with Nike’s agency Wieden+Kennedy, developed the truly reactive Game of Go, a running video game where runners are invited to experience the new Nike React running shoe, on a custom-built treadmill installation. Pushing their speed and reflexes to the limit, it is another example of Dutch Digital Design crossing the borders.

Background

Nike’s latest performance technology React, with its unprecedented energy-returning capabilities, is practically invisible. The only way to truly understand how revolutionary it really is, is to experience it, or, see someone experiencing it. The brief was to bring the React technology to life, in an exciting and visually engaging way. To make running (even) more fun, especially for non-runners who have not yet been convinced.

Strategy

MediaMonks’ solution was to make the fun, giddy bounce that React delivers, and the feeling of wearing React running shoes, visible, giving rise to the idea that we all have a secret runner inside of us. Nike React running shoes gives access to that inner-runner, along with the immediate desire to start running. A video game was developed, giving players exactly that feeling and meeting their ‘inner-runner' at the same time.

Players create their own running avatar, while experiencing the shoes in real-time, exploring a world filled with foam, bubbles, confetti and shaggy hairs - transforming Nike’s foam technology into a real-time spectacular.

Process

Three giant custom-built treadmills were installed on Microsoft Square in Los Angeles. Players’ skeletal points were motion-tracked to register their every move, while running a 400-meter virtual race. Advanced 3D rendering techniques turned players’ motions into animation via 12 powerful gaming rigs that processed, packaged and instantly transmitted real-time data to giant digital billboards in downtown LA. Nothing was pre-rendered. Result: a truly reactive experience, with every aspect of the game needing to be rendered seamlessly, in real time.

The enormous LA live screens as well as the players’ individual displays showed the racers’ avatars as they made their way through the track, which meant some serious hardware horsepower was needed to make it all run smoothly.

Outcome

The experience was also extended to a worldwide audience, with one of the world’s first Snappables game - a Snapchat Augmented Reality Lens - so people could play Game of Go on their phones. The three-day Game of Go activation reached 4.5 million TV-and 1.5 million out-of-home impressions. And, to top it all off, the Snapchat AR game racked up 25.6 million digital impressions.

Finally, Game of Go won four Cannes Lions at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, FWA of the Day, with 92 Points - the highest score in FWA history. Not surprisingly, it also won the FWA of the Month.

This case was brought to you by the Dutch Digital Design collective

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