Sergio Mendez was meandering through the art fairs crowd in downtown Ann Arbor. Walking down Washington toward Main Street, Mendez saw something worth picking up. It was the left arm – just the left arm – belonging to a guy he knows, Eric Garcia. So Mendez grabbed it and put it in his backpack.
That left arm wasn’t some sculpture in the art fair. But no worries, it also wasn’t Garcia’s literal left arm. It was a virtual arm, part of a multi-player iPhone game that Mendez and Garcia are developing, along with their colleagues at Phonagle, Jeremy Canfield and Ben Malley.
Phonagle LLC is a tech start-up. This week they’re using the art fairs as the setting to test out the game they’re developing. The object of this game: Find and collect virtual objects set up around the city – this version included their own virtual body parts.