Music

Play Thomas Dolby’s new game, “The Floating City”

The Floating City is a rich multiplayer transmedia game within a living world based around Thomas Dolby’s latest musical endeavors.

“The Floating City is set against a dystopian vision of the 1940s that might have existed had WWII turned out a lot differently,” says Dolby. A global energy experiment went haywire, the Earth’s magnetic fields have been reversed, and the planetary climate system violated. Science has betrayed us: now what must the species do to survive?

Survivors explore a fictional Google map, forming tribes and trading relics amid a bizarre sea-going barter society. As they struggle to unravel the enigma that is the Floating City, players can haggle over merchandise and music downloads — including brand-new songs from A Map of the Floating City, Dolby’s first album in 20 years, which will be released following the climax of the game. The leading tribe wins the right to stage a private concert at which Thomas Dolby and his band perform the album in its entirety.

Gameplay has just begun. It’s free to play and aimed at all ages, and can be played on the web, social networks, smartphones and iPads. Fun fact: Chief science officer of this game is none other than TED Senior Fellow Rachel Armstrong.

“This is a brilliant concept,’ said writer/economist Steven Levitt. “It’s a cross between Freakonomics and Burning Man, with a back-story that would have made J.G. Ballard proud.”