Jun 2008

Anti-Normalizer is a location-based mobile phone scavenger hunt for weird and deviant behavior. The game was created as a mechanism for stimulating social change by presenting alternative models for public social interaction. These non-normative behaviors were intended to dispel common expectations for the range of ‘appropriate’ social activities.

First implemented in June 2007, student teams wandered the UCSD campus with a GPS-enabled phone. When these groups would pass through particular areas, they would receive a ‘buzz’ followed by a repeating voice file. This voice instructed the participants to engage in a particular “anti-normal” activity: anything from conversing in a trash can to reading a book while lying in a parking space. Teams documented their own behavior, and the teams with the best photos overall won the round of “Anti-Normalizer.

The Anti-Normalizer program was developed in J2ME as a collaboration between the Social Architectures course taught by Derek Lomas and the Mobile Phone Programming Course taught by Brett Stallbaum