About Those New Interactive Games…

Posted October 14, 2010

You may have noticed some new games being played at Verizon Center during TV timeouts this season. The two that have been used so far are the Zamboni Race (Olympia Ice Resurfacer) and the Trivia Poll. Both of these games ask fans in the stands to motion with their arms, and the game will measure their actions. So is this a joke? Is this like the fake decibel meter we’ve seen at Verizon Center in years past? Has the arena’s entertainment staff tricked you into looking like fools, like when you checked under your seat for a sticker on April 1st?

The short answer is no, it’s apparently legit. The system is called CrowdWave, and you can see the article over at Gunaxin for more on how it works. The Capitals are the first team in the league to debut this system, but the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets will also be using it. Here is a (crappy) video of the system in use at the Caps’ home opener :

We spoke with the Capitals’ Director of Game Entertainment, Michael Wurman, about this new system to get some more details. The product includes eight cameras installed in the corners of the arena, along with software as you would expect. Currently the team has the previously mentioned two games running, but in the future you can expect additional games to be added as the software is developed. The system allows fans to either compete or work cooperatively, and the arena can be broken up any which way you choose. So you will probably see competitions in the future where the 400 level gets to prove how much more spirit they have than the 100 level. Wurman even mentioned that they have plans to keep score, and later in the season generate standings as to which sections perform the best in the games.

I personally think the new interactive games have been well received by fans, and add to the game-day experience, but I’d be interested in your thoughts in the comments. This is just one more thing, as Ted recently blogged about, that is being done to improve an already great product. “I’m excited that we are able to enhance the in-game experience for our fans by adding CrowdWave technology at Verizon Center,” he said. Add this to the new Tom Green cameo for Unleash the Fury, and I think you can see how @CapsGameEnt spent its summer.