One of the internet’s most innovative and most controversial competitions makes a return on November the 8th! Orange’s Play Balloonacy, an internet balloon race is back and will once again see people chasing their monkeys, cats, camels, dolphins, canaries, owls and racoons across various websites.
To take part in Play Balloonacy you need to register and get yourself a virtual balloon. You then need to nurse that balloon between the 8th November and 17th November with the aim to be being the one to travel the furthest and/or complete the course the quickest. There’s a fantastic holiday to Kenya on offer!
There are also prizes for second and third places, a prize for the first person to complete the course, a prize for best web host, and the slowest person to complete the course.
The first balloon race took place in June 2008. Many competitors spent sleepless nights guiding their balloons across countless websites in an attempt to stay ahead of the game. You may well need to be orgainsed (or an insomniac) to get up a good head of hot air to win this competition.
Of course this kind of competition (i.e. anything that involves effort, mass user participation and discussion) is never too far away from controversy. The winner Reginald Ringtail most certainly had the wind behind him in the last stages of the competition, narrowly beating a valiant Loquax user into second place.
The controversy arose because the winner had the same surname, Langdon, as the competition creator leading to many people suspecting something amiss. Orange denied there was any wrongdoing and when the dust settled it did seem to be just an amazing coincidence.
Let’s hope that this year’s balloon race is less controversial.
We fully expect though that people will look for ways to cheat. They always do, so hopefully Orange are on the ball and ready to burst the balloons of those who don’t play fair.
The key to success of this competition is to familiarise yourself with what to do before you get ballooning. Many people only really discovered how to play towards the end of the competition. You need to understand how to boost your balloon (clicking, waving, adding a widget to your blog, maybe clicking on rainbows?) and also look out for badges to collect too.
It can also be time consuming, so rope in the family to help too! Also help your fellow compers and hopefully in return they’ll help you. Keep an eye on #balloonacy searches via Twitter to see how things are going too!
The top prizes are good this year but we’re disappointed that there are no daily prizes or incentives for stragglers to keep going. Yes there’s the slowest to finish prize but after a couple of days most people pack in as they decide they can’t win. A chance to pick up a daily prize just for boosting a balloon would encourage extra play.
Still, fingers crossed for a fun filled balloon race and may the best balloonist win. Good Luck!