Gap Filler hosts giant video game tournament ahead of new release
Christchurch gamers went big as they battled to see who could conquer the city's nemesis – road cones.
Arcade game enthusiasts faced off tournament-style for a golden road cone trophy at Gap Filler's Super Street Arcade on Saturday.
It was the first competition of its kind in the four months since the social enterprise's giant street-side game, Attack of the Cones, went up on Tuam St.
"It's been four months but all along we've kind of had in mind that 'Oh we've got to do a tournament, close down the street and do a battle'," Gap Filler co-director Ryan Reynolds said.
The game itself is an arcade game-style snapshot of the city, with killer road cones taking the place of alien invaders.
"You're actually riding along Tuam St, dodging road works and road cones and pot holes and stuff like that," Reynolds said.
"You can see the [Christ Church] Cathedral and kind of icons of Christchurch going on in the background."
For that reason, you might be forgiven for expecting one of the city's natives to have the upper hand in the game. But you might be wrong.
"There [was] a couple of late 20s, early 30s guys (from Timaru) who [were] playing an awful lot. They've got nine of the 10 high scores on the top scoreboard," Reynolds said.
At first an enigma, the Timaru team, named TMZ – for "Timaz Hardcore" – eventually turned up to take the highest score ever of 4062 and win the final, Gap Filler project developer Damian Doyle said.
"It's great that we've kind of flushed them out and found them in real life," Doyle said.
"They were kind of this mythical player that came in and set [records]. Before we reset the scoreboard they held all but one of the top 30 high scores."
Reynolds said more than 64,000 games had been played in the time Attack of the Cones had been in its Tuam St spot.
"I can go in there and look at days and times and how many times the game's getting used.
"Every day it gets used until about 10 [pm] ... and then there's a real drop off. Then there's a spike at 2am, 3am, where there's about 70 or 80 games get played in the wee hours of the morning."
But, despite its popularity, Attack of the Cones would be soon to retire, Reynolds said.
"We're working on developing a new New Zealand-themed space game.
"So probably a few weeks from now we'll have a new game going, then probably we'll do a spacies tournament at some point."
- The Press