Traffic Mimes

“The people of Bogota were more concerned about social disapproval than traffic fines, and so mimes [were hired] to playfully reproach drivers that crossed red lights …”

Marcel Marceau Conquers BogotaTraffic miming — the use of mimes to help calm and direct big-city traffic — is a kind of game design, and might prove a source of inspiration to game designers:

In 1995, the traffic in Bogota, Colombia, was so chaotic that drivers had long since given up obeying the rules of the road, resulting in a disorderly free-for-all that was a major impediment to the city’s economy. The recently elected mayor of the city, who came to prominence after dropping his trousers to silence a hall of rioting students, decided on a creative solution to this similarly vexing problem: a troop of mimes.

Antanas Mockus realised that the people of Bogota were more concerned about social disapproval than traffic fines, and so hired mimes to playfully reproach drivers that crossed red lights, blocked junctions and ignored pedestrian crossings. One cannot police by mimes alone and in a further measure to address driving behaviour, the mayor’s office brought in flashcards to allow social feedback. Each citizen was given a red card to signal to someone that their driving was poor and a white card to signal that the person who been particularly courteous or considerate.

Mind Hacks

Via Boing Boing. This dates back to 2004 … I’m digging through old bookmarks, picking out a few favorites.

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