Ping Pong 2.0
Ping Pong is one of those table games that seems so classic, so timeless, it's hard to imagine how it could be improved at all. But apparently, it can. And it has been. Introducing Ping Pong FM, the techie twist on the traditional game, in which a soundtrack dictates the speed of play. Developed by a group of artists, creative directors, and designers, Ping Pong FM is fun, sure, but it's also a high-octane experiment in how we respond to, and interact with, music.
How It Works
To begin, players select a song to play to on the game's app—say, the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic." Each Ping Pong FM paddle contains a mic that picks up the paddle's vibrations whenever it comes in contact with the ball. The mic then sends this information to an Arduino, a piece of hardware encased in what looks like a vintage radio. The Arduino notes which paddle mic recorded the hit, assigns that paddle a Player ID, and passes that ID to the game app.
The app will speed up or slow down the song depending on the time between players' hits. It also responds to individual player performances with comments displayed on a monitor (e.g., "Noice," "Great," "Hella Good," "Very Adequate"). The faster the song, the faster the gameplay.
The short film promoting the game begins with a voiceover: "Ping Pong FM is a musical game for table tennis professionals." But really, it's for anyone who wants to get a little competitive while volleying ping pong balls to the beat of the best party tracks.
The Story Behind It
"We'd love it if people started to engage with music in a more playful way," the developers told Sweet over email. "If the rise of the DJ was a revolution, and Bluetooth speakers on the bus are the norm, what's next? Hopefully this project is a small step to get people thinking about how records can be played, performed, enjoyed, and messed with."
Ping Pong FM is not yet in production, but if you want to learn more about this fast-paced, pop-infused table tennis update, visit pingpong.fm.