Photos: Playing ‘Payphone Warriors’
Image 1 of 6
Abe Burmeister, lead organizer of “Payphone Warriors,” one of the featured events at the Come Out and Play street games festival in New York City, explained the rules of his game to participants on Sunday. Organized into teams, the game’s contestants searched for pay phones to “own” in the area around Washington Square. A phone was owned when a team member used it to call a designated number and punched in his or her team’s code. The aim was not only to own as many phones as possible but also to maintain ownership of each one for as long as possible by posting a team member to guard it. Guards who abandoned their post to search for other pay phones risked losing ownership of the phone to another team. Teams earned points based on how long their phone ownership went unchallenged.
“Payphone Warriors” team members discuss strategy as they prepare to hit the streets.
Frank Lantz, who runs the game design firm Area/Code, and who helped create several of the Come out and Play festival games, got ready to play “Payphone Warriors” on Sunday.
A team “owned” a pay phone when one of its members called a designated number from the call booth. But in order to keep another team from claiming a phone, one of the team’s players had to stay behind and stand guard.
Some teams used unusual methods to maintain their hold on a pay phone bank.