Zynga, makers of the online criminal game, Mafia Wars, wants to blur the lines between virtual gaming and real life. To accomplish this and celebrate 10,000,000 online gamers playing the new Mafia Wars Las Vegas leg, Zynga blew blew up an armored truck in the desert, destroying the evidence inside.
To make the event more exciting, they brought rap artist, Snoop Dogg, to the desert to push the button and blow up the truck. Destroying the evidence made it safe for Mafia Wars criminals everywhere.
In the middle of all this mayhem, Zynga gave away a bunch of real Apple Ipads and 25,000 in real cash.
Confusing huh? That’s because they blurred the lines of reality indeed. Of course you have questions:
Mafia Wars, that’s a video game, Right?
Yes, it’s an online social game.You play it by building your own Mafia with members all over the world.
And this was the real Snoop Dogg?
Right you are. It was the one and only Snoop Dogg himself. He crossed the desert with an entourage and stepped out of his vehicle wearing a sweet black tee with LOVE written in white letters on the front.
So was the truck real?
Well… yes and no. There are virtual armored trucks in Mafia Wars, but the truck Zynga blew up in the desert was definitely real. The force of the explosion sent money flying everywhere. Of course that money was fake… that blurring the lines thing, you know.
Judging from the live stream close ups, they spent a lot of time… and a lot of money to destroy the truck, which was indeed real.
Well…. yeah. First of all armored trucks are expensive and all those details: the black paint, the painted on cash, a Las Vegas city scene and a hot lady criminal a la’ Mafia Wars, certainly cost a pretty penny indeed. But they did it to be cool and you can’t put a price on cool.
Besides, money is no object when you’re trying to blur the lines between virtual games and reality.
So did they use real expolosives?
They certainly did.
According to the pre-blast information streamed via Mafiawars.com, it took 6 men 2 weeks to prepare the truck with primacord (whatever that is) lifters, 20 gallons of gas and a whole bunch of other explosive and flammable stuff it would take an expert to understand.
They went to a lot of trouble to make sure when it blew it would really blow, make a lot of noise and send a plume of fire high into the sky. That’s exactly what it did.
That Doesn’t Sound very safe.
They did take lots of precautions. They went to the middle of the desert, first of all. They set up a 100 foot safety perimeter and brought in lots of firemen and safety officers. Some people, like Snoop and the head Zynga guy, got ear plugs to insulate against the noise. They warned everybody else to put their fingers in their ears because it was going to be really loud. Although the finger-in-the-ear part sounded fake, it was probably real.
There was even a helicopter in the sky, but it wasn’t really supposed to be there. Obviously the pilot didn’t realize there were some lines you shouldn’t blur.
So that was it, huh, an explosion in the desert, to blow up a real truck and destroy fake evidence?
That’s about it, except for a few things.
-Nearly 300,000 people watched the live stream on Mafiawars.com.
-Snoop said a lot of four letter words he probably wouldn’t have used if he were on network television. He kept saying things like “knock the roof off this M— F–.” (He didn’t use those words when he was on One Life to Live.) Hopefully there weren’t any real children watching.
-Someone told Snoop to move at the last minute and he ended up blocking the explosion from the video stream viewers.
-Oh, yeah, Snoop was just trying to do his job when he told everyone to go out and buy Mafia Wars. Those blurred lines again. Apparently no one told him it was a free game you played online.