ビア + アーケードという実に分かりやすい命名の Beercade は、ビールサーバを内蔵した対戦型アーケードゲーム筐体。コイン投入口の部分にトレイと注ぎ口があり、コインいっこいれる代わりにカップひとつおくことでクレジットが追加されます。
中身は「The Last Barfighter」なる格闘ゲーム。3ラウンドを勝ち抜いたプレーヤーには冷えたビールが注がれ、文字どおり勝利の美酒が飲める仕組みです。実際の様子は続きに掲載したプロモ動画をどうぞ。
Beeracade は米国ノースカロライナのビール醸造所 Big Boss Brewing がプロモーションのために制作したもので、ゲームの登場キャラクター「ANGRY ANGEL」やら「HIGH ROLLER」も同社のビール銘柄になっています。
こうしたプロモ珍発明は実在が疑わしかったり、最初からバイラルビデオ用の演出だったりしますが、Big Boss Brewing によれば Beeracade は実際に2台が同社の社屋でサンプル用に活躍中です。
企画・制作を担当したのは広告エージェンシーの McKinney。全社員が就業時間の10%を、現在のクライアント案件とは直接関係ない自由なプロジェクトに使ってよい " McKinney Ten Percent " から生まれた企画とされています。
Big Boss Brewing 社ではこの Beercade を、今後各種のイベントなどにプレイアブル(ドリンカブル？)出展してチャリティなどに役立ててゆきたいとのこと。酔拳の達人が乱入しないかぎり、連勝するとプレーヤーがだんだん弱くなる自動ハンディキャップ機能付きゲーム機ともいえそうです。
McKinney introduces the world's first beer-dispensing arcade game
Durham, NC (February 12, 2013) - The McKinney Ten Percent, the ad agency's incubator that encourages all employees to devote 10% of their time to focus on new applications of creativity and technology unrelated to current client business, has found a way to breathe new life into both beer tasting and arcade gaming.
Created for Big Boss Brewing Company, Beercade is the first-ever beer-dispensing arcade game that takes the snore factor out of beer sampling. Instead of being served by a distracted bartender, wired beer rep or harried festival worker, beer lovers get to fight until the end for a sample of Big Boss' most popular beers.
Beercade was created in-house by McKinney from the Flash-based game, The Last Barfighter, to the arcade machine itself. Players choose one of five characters representing the five year-round Big Boss brews: Hell's Belle, Bad Penny, Angry Angel, Blanco Diablo and High Roller. In what looks like a standard biker bar, the players fight in three rounds using basic fighting moves like punches and kicks, as well as signature moves like fire throwing, unicorn horn impaling and butt slaps. The best player of the three rounds wins, and a sample of beer is automatically dispensed via the Beercade taps.
"Beercade uses a custom-made system that re-utilizes certain retro nostalgic arcade machine user actions for its concept," explains McKinney Creative Technologist Adam Carroll. "Its coin slot has been replaced with a few drip trays, cupholders and motion sensors to accept a cup in place of a quarter. When we started, we were trying to find a way for retro arcade machines to live again, and when we brought the idea to our client Big Boss Brewing, they jumped on board."
So what is the Beercade experience? The arcade machine itself was constructed out of wood and styled after the old fashioned machines still standing at some arcades, pizza joints and music venues. Two players stand side by side working identical joysticks under which are beer taps instead of coin slots. Each side of the machine features custom-illustrated pictures. On one a man holds a beer high in victory while being grasped at from below by scantily clad women; on the other, a woman is similarly posed extending a certain finger. The game logo, including typography, was also developed by in-house graphic designers and is showcased across the top of the machine.
"I grew up playing video games, and I remember stacking quarters at the old arcades waiting in line to show off my virtual fighting skills. And I think it's a nostalgic experience a lot of people identify with," said Associate Creative Director Owen Tingle. "I've also grown to appreciate the craft and skill it takes to make good-tasting beer. So to combine these two passions into a unique experience other people can enjoy was just awesome."
"The Last Barfighter is a latest tool in the Big Boss arsenal. It's a secret weapon that really showcases our beer brands in a fun, interactive, beer-dispensing video game with retro-cool appeal!" said Dave Roger, Big Boss Brewing's marketing and distribution manager. "We plan on featuring the Last Barfighter at events that help raise funds and awareness for our charitable partners in the communities we serve.