Cows Come Home was an interactive game for the closing party of British Art Show 7 inPlymouth. To get access to the party people had to collect digital cattle at the BAS7 venues, on the Cows Come Home Website and in The Herald Newspaper.

The closing party was at the Slaughterhouse, Royal William yard, which was once was an abattoir suppling the meat that fed the Royal Navy. After the last beast was killed in 1885, the space fell into disuse until if was transformed into a gallery to host BAS7, the biggest art exhibition ever held in the city.

As part of the game the venue was restored to a slaughterhouse, with sights, sounds and smells. Players had to register on the Cows Come Home website and was then posted a paper invite, which will include a unique QR code. Once they had scanned that code, they could start collecting a digital herd and see it grow on the Cows Come Home website.

By visiting the BAS7 venues and by scanning venues cow QR codes, each players heard grew. On the night, the courtyard was filled with people and cows awaiting “slaughter”. You needed a minimum of 70 scanned cattle to get in, if you have fewer than 70, or only the paper invite, you can team up and join somebody else’s herd.

Over 500 players collected and grew their ‘virtual’ herd of over 7000 cows by scanning their personalised QR code on their physical invite with their mobile phone or with the computers installed in the participating venues. This took them to their personal herd space on site.

For every venue they visited, for every special QR cow in the news print publications they gathered, and for every time they got peers to visit their page through social media promotion, the number of cows in their herd increased. The game was to collect the greatest herd of virtual cows as displayed by the leader board online and at the closing party venue.

Mutant Labs, i-DAT Collective, Plymouth Art Centre, Excess Energy with the British Art Show

Role: Instigator / Game Designer / Producer



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