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Avoidable Perils

A TANK FULL OF SHARKS, a deadly laser beam, a vat of acid – bad things are happening and our heroes are at risk! But will you help save them?

By Anna Dowd

Genre-defying transmedia techno-troublemakers Counterpilot presents Avoidable Perils – an all-ages interactive game and whimsical social experiment exploring activism in the attention economy.

Coming to you via large-scale screens and sound design throughout Festival Park, Counterpilot Director Nathan Sibthorpe says the aim of the game is to save the cast of cartoon superheroes from their unfolding predicaments – all with the power of a simple text message.

“You’ve got 15 minutes to turn around the fate of the cartoon hero, so enough time to call your mum and get her to send a text in as well.”

With a critical mass of bystanders participating, the hero is saved and audiences are rewarded with a victory lap and the chance to learn more about the character’s superpowers.

“It’s definitely very fun when a character is saved by the people,” Sibthorpe says.

An allegory for the avoidable perils in our collective midst, the idea for the project was originally inspired by climate change, but took full form when the pandemic hit.

“With climate change, we wanted to make a work that incorporated the idea that it takes a lot of Australians to do something small, to coordinate and collaborate to fight this huge threat we face,” Sibthorpe says.

“As a collective, when we couldn’t tour the shows we had planned for the year, we picked up the concept again as something we could apply to spaces in a range of socially distanced scenarios. And thematically, it made total sense given the immediate peril we’re facing with COVID. Safety is a team sport but we all have the free will to decide if we want to play.”

Avoidable Perils

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