Hi, I’m Adrian Hon. I’m CEO and founder at Six to Start, co-creators of the most successful smartphone fitness game in the world, Zombies, Run! We’ve won plenty of awards for our game-like stories and storylike games, and our work’s been displayed at the MOMA and Design Museum.
Previously, I was Executive Producer and Director of Play at Mind Candy from 2004 to 2007, where I designed and produced the Perplex City alternate reality game (ARG). My interest in ARGs began with the genre itself in 2001, when I was a moderator for the Cloudmakers community for ‘The Beast’, an ARG for Steven Spielberg’s A.I.; I wrote a detailed walkthrough for the game, called ‘The Guide‘.
During that time, I studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, specialising in experimental psychology and neuroscience. In 2003, I began a neuroscience DPhil at Oxford, but left after a year to join Mind Candy.
I’ve spoken at the main TED conference in Monterey in 2001 (about the human colonisation of Mars), as well as various SXSW, GDC, Economist, and other such tech and gaming conferences.
Some of the projects that I’ve been involved in or have created, in rough reverse chronological order, include:
Untitled VR Fitness Research Project (2018)
Ongoing project in conjunction with University College London.
The Walk Game + Podcast (2013, 2018)
All-day walk tracker combined with an audio adventure. The first smartphone game funded by the NHS and UK Department of Health. Editor’s Choice on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. In 2018, the audio story became a podcast published by Panoply, gaining the iTunes Podcast of the Week in the US, and reaching #2 in the Top Charts.
The Cultures (2014-)
A weekly podcast about technology, art, religion, games, politics, books, movies, and much much more, with Andrea Phillips and Naomi Alderman.
A History of the Future in 100 Objects (2013)
A book from the perspective of a historian in 2084 writing about the hundred most important objects of the 21st century.
Zombies, Run! (2012-)
World’s bestselling smartphone fitness game where you’re chased by zombies in the real world, amidst a gripping audio story. Nominated for the Design Museum ‘Design of the Year’ award (Six to Start and Naomi Alderman).
Balance of Powers (2011)
A cold war alternate history serial funded via Kickstarter and written by Andrea Phillips, David Varela, Naomi Alderman, and myself.
The Code (2011)
Online treasure hunt accompanying the BBC Two maths documentary, The Code (Six to Start).
Transmedia London (2011-)
Meetup group to share case studies and experience about transmedia projects. Co-organised with Rachel Clarke.
Immersive online educational game about internet privacy and security. Won SXSW Best Game (Six to Start).
Hive Mind Challenge (2009-)
A pub quiz where you’re allowed to cheat and use as much technology — and as many friends — as you want. Co-created with Philip Trippenbach.
We Tell Stories (2008)
Six classic stories retold for the internet by top writers. Won SXSW Best of Show, displayed at MOMA (Six to Start).
Let’s Change the Game (2007)
Competition for teams around to world to design an game that will raise money for Cancer Research UK.
After Our Time (2007)
Weblog, wiki and forum about Radio 4’s In Our Time panel discussion programme.
Perplex City (2005)
First ever self-funding ARG, with a £100,000 prize and hundreds of thousands of players. Also the longest-running ARG.
Mind Hacks chapter (2004)
Contributed a chapter to Mind Hacks, a neuroscience book published by O’Reilly.
Two Weeks on Mars (2002)
Weblog of my time at the Mars Society Desert Research Station.
First Words (2002)
What do you think the First Words on Mars should, or will be?
Mars maps (2001)
First full colour poster-size map of Mars, custom designed, to be sold worldwide. No longer for sale.
New Mars (2001)
Editor and administrator of New Mars, the Mars Society’s official online magazine and forum.
Online community for the Microsoft/Dreamworks SKG AI webgame.
Archive of my older personal websites including essays, art and photos.
Astrobiology: The Living Universe (2000)
NASA award-winning educational website about astrobiology.
Museums are among my favorite places in the world. I’ve done a lot of work with them, including:
- A History of the Future in 100 Objects at The Shanghai Project, with Chen Xi, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist (2016-17)
- Games that Make Your Heart Race talk at National Museum of Scotland Lates event (2015)
- Zombies, Run! at the V&A Crowdfunding Lates event (2015)
- A History of the Future in 100 Objects event at the Long Now Foundation (2014)
- A History of the Future in 100 Objects internal talk at the V&A (2014)
- Advised Bletchley Park on grant funding (2014)
- Zombies, Run! at the Designs of the Year exhibition at the Design Museum (2013)
- Zombies, Run! at the Science Museum Lates event (2013)
- A History of the Future in 100 Objects workshops at the British Museum (2012)
- Games consultancy at the British Museum (2012)
- We Tell Stories at the Talk to Me exhibition at MOMA (2011)
There’s some more information about me at my main personal website, www.vavatch.co.uk. You can also see the archives for my previous weblog which date back to the beginning of 2000. I also have some photos on Flickr.