Preparations included constructing boxes, gluing paper and painting pixels. Lots and lots of pixels. The group worked together to decide on which elements from this side-scrolling game would be included in the hallway and production of all the elements was a laborious but wonderful group endeavor.
In our research stage we had come across a video where a man made a life size Mario level and then dubbed in sound effects to make it look like the sound was coming from hitting the blocks. We thought it would be so cool if we could make that happen for real. When web searches failed to turn up any usable possibilities to make it happen we brainstormed the idea of gutting a few special holiday greeting cards and hooking them up to switch buttons. Worked like a charm!
Another one of the special interactive elements was installing a hand painted pipe on the elevator doors. People entering and leaving the elevator got a little special surprise when they realized that they were participating in the social interaction project... whether they wanted to or not!
To promote the project we created giant pixelized coins just like the ones in the game. On the reverse side was information about where to find us and when it would be happening. We then went all around campus posting them in unusual places in sets to really catch people's attention.
Once everything was setup, hung, secured and tested we were ready to go. We finished just in time for many of the nearby classes to let out.
We knew all things Mario were popular. And we were excited to see so many people relate to the project. I was especially excited to get a phone call from Asylum.com (AOL's site for what's geeky, 'cool' and new) who wanted to do a story on the project. That story in turn showed up all over the web on tech sites and even the front page of Digg.com. I even got a phone call from the guys who work at Nintendo who just wanted to tell us how cool they thought the project was!