Backyard was a temporary pop-up community garden with local events in San Jose’s Fountain Alley, featuring events like "movies, concerts, wellness activities like yoga and zumba, and yard games for kids. Inside, there are rotating food trucks (including meatless products from the Beyond Company), as well as beer, wine, soft drinks and coffee for sale" (Mercury News). A series of “Backyard Bazaars” curated by San Jose Made also showcased the work of local artists and artisans.
Working in collaboration with Local Color, three local artists were commissioned to decorate each a ping pong table for this space. I wanted to use the opportunity to explore augmented interaction, I liked the idea of the crowd around being able to participate in the game, and I had recently stumbled into some vintage Olympic posters. So, with only two days to pull off the project I decided to add the option to play Pingpongo.
Trivia ping pong (aka Pingpongo) was popularized in Argentina. Rules vary, and there are different modes, but the overall idea is that while players engage in a game of ping pong, their teams can answer questions read out loud by an umpire to earn extra points. As a tongue-in-cheek homage to vintage Olympic posters, I hand-painted the table to resemble an anniversary edition of an event that never happened: San Jose Pingpongo Team winning gold at the 1920 Belgium Olympics. The QR code on the table provides an easy access to the trivia page.
The trivia functionality was forked from Palmer Hinchliff's GitHub, which uses openTriviaDB. Here you can read more about Pingpongo.
Event photos and video are copyrighted by BackyardSJ and reproduced here for context.
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