• Zom3
  • Zom1
  • Zom2

2.8 Hours Later

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Standing on top of a south London multi-storey car park in the dark, I’m in a bit of a pickle. There’s zombies coming up the ramp, a mad diabetic woman in the stairwell who may or may not be on my side and a half-heard plea from somewhere that we have to find a priest (who we later locate chained to some gates). This was 2.8 Hours Later, the interactive zombie game from Slingshot Effect that took place in the capital for the first time this weekend. We spoke to Slingshot’s Simon Johnson, to find out more.

Hundreds of people took part in the game, the first time the company had staged an event in the capital. Split into small teams, it took place across several amazingly atmospheric locations across the Borough/Southwark area with gore-splattered zombies, enigmatic characters and a few thrills and spills. It’s a massive organisational feat and huge fun – playing on your own fears and making every concealed doorway and empty alleyway a potential trap.

Simon and fellow Slingshot director Simon Evans have been running games for four and a half years from their Bristol base, taking over the streets of cities around the world. They initially embraced horror as a means of spicing up traditional orienteering-based city games – “To add some theatre and make things more interesting.”

But more than that, they felt it was also a neat way of explaining the world as it is now. “We were looking at a global recession and then Cameron got elected and we were pretty depressed – it felt like everything was going to collapse. We had all that craziness and the riots and we thought how do you model that?

“The zombie theme was perfect because everyone knows the rules with zombies. You can do quite elaborate things and people understand – zombies solved the problem.”

The actual three nights of the game is the culmination of months of careful planning – scouting out suitably eery locations, recruiting local performers and negotiating with councils and the police to get the all-important go-ahead.

“There is a a script but but we are really responsive to the real locations. We are flexible enough and work with performers who know the area to create something really interesting.”

“The power to play in the real world is amazing but safety is paramount – if anyone gets hurt doing this it just ends and we don’t want that to happen. When people are playing some of their cognitive abilities change and in that adrenalized state the way you perceive threat changes massively so we have to design the game to cope with that.”

Simon’s favourite thing about 2.8 Hors Later is the way the game brings people from all walks of life together. “That’s the great thing about the genre. You get chartered accountants playing with crane drivers, it brings together black and white, old and young in way that has really surprised us.”

Next up for the Simons is Hounded, an urban fox hunting game starting in Soho on 11/11/20111 where red-jacketed hunters will pursue “hounds” following real scent trails across the city, and 2.8 Hours Later is touring the UK.

You sense that with their ceaseless imagination and wonderful attention to detail, we’re likely to hear a lot more about Slingshot over the coming years.


Posted by Rob Alderson

Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.

Most Recent: Events View Archive

  1. List

    And so the crème de la crème was announced, with five of D&AD’s highest honour – the Black Pencil – awarded this year. From radio advertising to branding it’s a diverse selection that’s sure to get people talking. It’s great to see some of our favourite projects from the last year recognised, and some we weren’t familiar with (the brilliant radio station for dogs, for instance) being celebrated. Without further ado, here they are!

  2. Lego-greenpeace-its-nice-that-top-

    D&AD has awarded White Pencils in a category of their own since 2013, and these recognise design and advertising projects that “demonstrate that marketing and marketing communications can be a force for good,” in the words of D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay. Four projects have been awarded the philanthropic pencils this year, two for brand and two for not-for-profit advertising and marketing communications. Here are the projects recognised this year…

  3. Doty-list

    The category winners for this year’s Designs of the Year have been announced, including a nod to one of our favourite projects, Marcel’s Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables campaign, which scooped the graphics category nomination. The campaign was nominated by our very own Alex Bec, and was created to champion the beauty within misshapen fruits and vegetables, which are sold at Intermarché for 30% cheaper than their more traditional-looking counterparts. The overall Design of the Year from the six category winners will be announced June, and all are on display at the exhibition alongside the other nominations (read our thoughts on it here) until 31 March 2016.

  4. Dandad-opinion-itsnicethat-list

    It’s Nice That founder and creative director Will Hudson was part of the D&AD Black Pencil jury this year. Here he is on judging one of the industry’s main awards, and why it helped change his mind about creative competitions…

  5. Alexchinneck-londondesignfestival-itsnicethat-list

    A 35-metre high upside-down electricity pylon was the stand-out project announced for this year’s London Design Festival today, but once again none of the headline projects are graphics focussed.

  6. Pmu-int-main

    People in the graphic arts world have got an infernal problem with Pick Me Up. It’s the Taylor Swift of illustration events: everyone claims they’re not into it but when it comes on the radio they know all the words and are happily singing along. My opinion on it has undulated for years, but going to the private view last night made me realise that all this time I doubted it and listened sceptically to the rumours surrounding it, I was totally wrong.

  7. Elcaf-int-list

    The East London Comics and Arts Festival (ELCAF) has just announced its 2015 dates, and after the storming success of last year this year it’s doubling up! Not only is the one day extravaganza growing to fill a full weekend across 20 and 21 June, but it’s also going to be filling two different venues with its trademark workshops and talks, and a new series of masterclasses held in collaboration with the House of Illustration.

  8. Offset-2-int-list

    Dublin’s terrific creative festival OFFSET is back this weekend and having now confirmed the full line-up, 2105 looks set to be another cracking three days of creative inspiration.

  9. Iam2015-bluebaby-cover-list

    We’ve long trumpeted the exciting, eclectic creative scene in Barcelona and now a new event talking place in March will harness this energy with an array of international speakers. The Internet Age Media, or IAM Weekend, promises to connect “the ecosystem that is shaping the future of design, fashion, technology, visual arts and music, from a media perspective.”

  10. List

    Dublin’s OFFSET festival is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the creative conference calendar, and early indications suggest that 2015 is all set to be another cracker (or craic-er, if you will). For three days in March the Irish capital is taken over by a brilliant line-up of art and design speakers (and a fair bit of socialising) and we’re looking forward to going back this year for another hefty dose of inspiration and enlightenment.

  11. List

    When we post work on It’s Nice That we don’t really know what that can lead to, but it’s always terrific to hear that creative collaborations have sprung from an article on the site. It’s even more terrific to hear of a coming together like this between Wild Beasts and animator and illustrator Mattis Dovier as part of The Jameson Works.

  12. List

    Last month we held an evening of talks at Mother London to showcase some of our favourite creative projects made possible through crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Since it launched in 2009, it’s no exaggeration to say the organisation has changed the way the creative world works and it was great to hear from some of those who had made the most of the new opportunities Kickstarter offers.

  13. Main1

    Just over a week ago It’s Nice That’s Jamie McIntyre and I took a train from London to Glasgow to the much-antiticipated Graphic Design Festival Scotland. We had been invited by Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist, two students who had recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. During their degree the two had found themselves working best when together, and decided to form Warriors Studio as a duo. They began thinking about the climate of graphic design in Scotland, the need for something new and exciting and – most importantly – what the hell they were going to do when term ends and they were turfed out to fend for themselves.