WiFi Wars is a live comedy show where you play along through your smartphone or tablet and compete in a range of games, quizzes and challenges to win prizes!
We sat down with the creators of WiFi Wars; Steve McNeil and Rob Sedgebeer to talk about the show, how it works and what excites them most abou the show. Steve and Rob have been featured on BBC Radio 4 Extra, The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and achieved a Guiness World Record in July 2016!
How did you both meet and how did the idea for the show come about?
Steve: Rob was the boyfriend of someone who came to my double act’s (McNeil and Pamphilon – Go 8 Bit) live shows. Rob came to an early version of Go 8 Bit and then, afterwards, showed us the first game he’d developed his tech for, which was Pong. He agreed to let us use this in the live show (and then the TV show which has recently been commissioned) and ever since then, Rob and I have been developing a whole show of shenanigans that take his technology further and further.
Rob: I’ve been going to live comedy for over twenty years and my girlfriend, a fellow comedy fan, introduced me to Steve and his sketch partner, Sam Pamphilon. I offered them my tech for their Go 8 Bit live show and became part of the team. Somewhere along the way The Royal Institution mistook us for actual scientists and asked us to give a talk about the technology used in the show, which is how WiFi Wars came about.
Can you explain how the audience gets involved in WiFi Wars?
Steve: You log in to a WiFi network that we build in the venue, then you go to a webpage. Once you’re there, we can beam buttons, graphics and entire games to your phones using what I assume is some sort of wizard magic.
Rob: The audience connects to our WiFi network using their phone or tablet. From there I can send games and controls to their device, using web based technology. No wizard magic required!
What excites you most about the show?
Steve: Smartphones and games can often become scapegoats for antisocial/lonely experiences. At our show, we take both, and make them celebratory, communal things. Instead of staring at your phone and ignoring everyone and everything around you, at our show, by tapping away at your screen you become part of a shared and joyful experience.
Rob: It’s an entirely new form of live entertainment. We get to build and play video games with huge numbers of people in a way that has never been done before.
How does the show differ from other live shows out there?
Rob: It’s the ultimate in audience interaction. No other live show demands you keep your mobile phone switched on!
Steve: EVERYONE in the audience PLAYS THE ENTIRE SHOW.
Do you have to have pre-existing knowledge of both gaming and technology to enjoy the show?
Steve: None whatsoever. All you need is a phone, a finger, and a desire to have fun.
Rob: Absolutely not! The tech is basically a means to an end, in that it allows us to build games that we can all play together. Forget for a moment that we’re talking about video games, and imagine instead, that we’re using other forms of multi-player games; board games, card games, or sports games. Imagine a massive footie game. With hundreds of players and multiple balls. It would be absolute chaos, but so much fun. That’s our show, as that’s what the tech let us do. But with loads more different games.
Why should people come to a WiFi Wars show?
Steve: Because a legitimate genius, King Rob aka Rob Sedgebeer, has created an insanely fun experience that you can’t do anywhere else in the known universe!
Rob: To come and play a range of fun video games with the rest of the audience, using the latest smart phone technology. With the added bonus of watching two sweaty men panic on stage.
WiFi Wars will be at The Swindon Arts Centre on Wed 7 September at 7pm.
For more information and to buy tickets please visit: http://bit.ly/WifiWarsUK