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Bloomington based Studio Cypher won an award for their “Stickers in Public “.a unique way of making people’s lives more playful through games that can be posted anywhere.”  The Indianapolis “Innovation Network” Centric presented the third annual Indiana Innovation Awards on September 12 at their “Day of Innovation” in Indianapolis.

Recently I had a chance to talk with Ian Pottmeyer and Nathan Mishler about the award and the path that led them to their success. The company started with a group of graduate students producing alternate reality games and has since moved to interactive video type games, exhibits and traveling shows. There most recent work was with the Children’s National Medical Center out of DC, making games that encourage children to do physical therapy.  In fact you might find their games ” in the most weird and unusual places” they remarked. (Read More)

One technique they employ to kick-start their creativity is what I call opposites.  In their case they would take a traditional game and turn it on it’s head so that the initial purpose is changed to just the opposite.  An analogy might be a game like monopoly turned around so the losers become winners.  They create that alternate reality to make games more interesting and highly interactive.

Studio Cypher’s purpose is improving lives through game play which certainly is an igniter of creativity.  In fact these guys are having so much fun they are clearly practicing the basic keys to success….creating an environment for the play of ideas.

Other projects they have worked on is a motion tracking system that connects Kiosks in the Field Museum in Chicago; A conference transformed into a game with political rallies and stump speeches instead of lectures; and Cartography… puzzles that are somewhat like an organized scavenger hunt.

When I asked where they got their ideas, both Ian and Nathan immediately responded that they are externally driven by their client’s needs and they then use their own ingenuity to achieve  creative outcomes.

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