Ever since IRL’s Patient 0 was released in Melbourne I’ve been saying it should come to Sydney. The people running it obviously felt the same way and a couple of months ago announced it was on its way here. But in spite of a spate of press, things don’t seem to be looking so good for the advent of real-life zombie shooting.
Patient 0 is one of those slightly surreal ideas – take a video game and make it into the real world, instead of the other way around. So, kitted up with high-tech weaponry you run around a carefully set-dressed warehouse shooting zombies played by actors. By all reports the Melbourne run was a great success, largely thanks to the imagination, enthusiasm and extraordinary attention to detail displayed by the experience’s creators.
The Melbourne event was brand new and the organisers used Pozible to make sure they had funding before the doors opened. In coming to Sydney the organisers chose to go down the same route and in effect are selling tickets via Pozible – which, on its face, isn’t going that well. Pozible has a nice little interactive bar showing how much of a funding goal has been achieved: In this case, with 26 days to go, IRL have achieved just over 10 per cent of their goal of $1 million. That’s only 320 supporters, or in effect 320 tickets sold.
Why is this so? Well I haven’t bought a ticket largely because it’s all so vague. Packages start at $170 and go up to around $300 – so it’s not cheap. The crucial missing ingredient is that there’s no real idea of when and where it’ll take place: Somewhere in the inner city and sometime around August / September is a bit vague to commit to. Such vagueness is certainly no use if you were planning to shoot zombies during a holiday in Sydney. I do also wonder if the whole Pozible approach of not simply buying tickets puts people off – for example, I imagine giving a supporters package isn’t quite the same as giving an actual ticket for a Birthday present.
Of course the other possibility is that Sydney isn’t that enthused by the idea of a real-life zombie shooting extravaganza. But I find that hard to believe. No, I think the problem is the approach which gives the organisers certainty, but leaves the punters carrying the uncertainty. In theory you could hope that the organisers don’t actually need $1 million up-front to proceed, and they achieve enough backing to get the zombies shambling along so that actual locked-down ticket sales can be made. But, sadly, you can’t part-fund through Pozible – they only get anything if the full target is met. So that means there’s a steep hill to climb to get to $1 million over the next 26 days.