SFZero or SF0 is a web-based community game invented in San Francisco. It is a type of alternate reality game. SFZero players earn points by completing a wide variety of different tasks, often with a focus on creativity, exploration, community, or performance. Although the game was originally intended for San Francisco residents, its player base has expanded to include many other locales both in and outside of America.
SFZero is the creation of Ian Kizu-Blair, Sam Lavigne and Sean Mahan of Playtime Antiboredom, a "nonprofit organization dedicated to producing free immersive art games that use new technologies in significant ways."
In the early game, players were required to align with a group upon starting the game. However, beginning in the era of Insatiability, the 'restrictive' rule of choosing a group before play has been eliminated. Currently, players can complete tasks from any group, and can choose to be listed as a member of any group from which they have completed tasks.
Each group has its own goals, interests, and an archive of group tasks. Although SFZero encourages collaboration amongst all players, and many tasks require it as such, it also allows for competition amongst individuals, locales, teams, and groups. It is possible to declare other players both as 'friend' and as 'foe'.
- BART Psychogeographical Association - The BART Psychogeographical Association explores the myriad transportation systems of San Francisco. Its members are concerned with freedom of movement and the structure of the city. New members of the BARTPA should express an interest in public space, walking, neighborhoods, and the like.
- Biome - The Biome Group observes and explores interactions between the built environment and the Out Of Doors - the living structure of the City. Although they hesitate to use words like "natural" or "wilderness" their activities concern what most would refer to as "nature".
- EquivalenZ - The EquivalenZ project seeks to fulfill the originating fantasies of Virtual Reality. Developed by Paragoogle Integrated Technologies, LLC, EquivalenZ is an utopic structure which frees the user from gender, race and body.
- Humanitarian Crisis - The Humanitarian Crisis Group believes that the residents of San Francisco are victims of a humanitarian crisis. The group seeks to bring aid and relief in any way it can, often relying on charitable acts and public services. Members of this group are expected to navigate public spaces and identify (with) those in need of help. They are also expected to hunt down the perpetrators of the crisis and bring them to the Hague where they will be tried and put to justice by an unbiased international criminal tribunal for crimes against humanity.
- The University of Aesthematics - Aesthematicians devote themselves to the trinity of Technique, Appearance and Product. Art informs and is informed by technique, specifically, techniques of producing meaning. Each Aesthematician is a brilliant manager in the factory of creation, responsible for communicating meaning through production with maximum efficiency. The manufacturing process utilizes infinite techniques that aid in the transformation of information: painting, erasing, appropriation, gentrification, drawing, re-establishing, multiplying, depoliticization, smashing, unifying, etc., etc. etc.
- Chrononautic Extropology - Chrononautic Extropologists decline the habit of past and future. Chrononauts and chronambulists travel through and across time, seeking splinters and twists in the flight of its arrow. We shape the present with relativity, simultaneity, paradox, immortality and ephemera. Members of this group should play to help the timebound reevaluate their living present. The existence of rogue Chrononauts—counterrevolutionaries who subordinate and undermine time, stretch and bend moments until they collapse—is considered a rumor.
- Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts - We are S.N.I.D.E. We are the Society for Nihilistic Intent and Disruptive Efforts. We are the adversary to order. We are the pranksters. We are the fools. We wish to administer a wedgie to the world. We act through the sole desire to reflect the system in a fun house mirror; to show that everything is a game, and nothing is worth any more than the value it is attributed by the person perceiving it. We have no goals (other than the wedgie thing, which S.N.I.D.E. scientists are working tirelessly in a secret undisclosed underground facility to develop a viable planetary wedgie administering system). We enjoy the game for the game and believe that it in itself is its most valuable reward.
Tasks are created by the players, then performed by other players or groups of players. In the current era, Everyday Life, SF0 features over 130 active tasks, with more than 1200 having been retired, and some 2500 suggested or 'pre-tired.' Here are some 'classic' task examples:
- 1000 Small (Heavy) Things
- Buy or acquire 1000 small, and if possible heavy things. Bolts or nuts (including the edible kind) would be good. Transport them to a public space (preferably carpeted) and drop them on the ground. You may drop them all in one place, or you may drop them slowly, perhaps forming a trail of some kind. If anyone harasses you, apologize profusely and then leave.
- Foreign Plant Crisis 2: Deportation
- Determine the original habitats of your interned non-native plants and deport them.
- Kidnap Me Gently
- Kidnap another player for three days. After hours on the phone consulting with our legal team, which includes celebrity lawyers Johnny Cochran and F. Lee Bailey, we have determined that the other player must go willingly.
- Go Fly A Kite
- Take one or more kites to the beach or park and start to fly them. As other beach goers approach get them to fly a kite too.
- Take a picture of the person flying the kite for proof.
- Tip, in a non-tipping industry.
- Make A Task- The Task
- Make a task for the game San Francisco Zero.
- Photographic Sentence
- Make a sentence out of photos you find online (or on your computer). Each photo makes up a word or concept.
- The High Score Task
- Put up a flag on top of the Sutro Tower.
- Hello NASA
- Create a message here on earth that is visible from space. The message can be text, pictures, or both. It must be large enough to be legible on Google maps or Google earth.
- Flood Of Legendary Obfuscations
- Fabricate an urban legend, using your locale as its setting.
- Create a public drive in movie. Use a projector and display a film of your choice in a public place. Invite strangers, family, and friends. Don't charge anyone to film the movie. The serving of popcorn is encouraged.
- The Sound of One Koan
- If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
- Your proof should not be theoretical in nature.
- Build a cat.
- Build a cat, must perform catlike functions (besides sitting on your bed).
- Keep marching on.
- Destroy a piece of your past.
The game also features Events in which players from all SF0 groups are invited to participate in a mass task. The description for the event "The Sweet Cheat Gone" reads:
"An investigation of guilt and innocence played out across the streets (zones of desire and exchange) of San Francisco. You are a prosecutor, a private eye, a witness, collecting evidence, not knowing who you can trust, betraying your friends (enemies) to build your case. Pursue a thread of desire that takes you to imaginary crime scenes beneath the skyline."
- Berton, Justin. “Flash mob 2.0: Urban playground movement invites participation” SFGATE, 4:00 2007.11.10 article online
- Blitstein, Ryan. “More Than Zero” SFWeekly, 2006.5.31 article online
- Simon, Nina. "Designing Platforms for Co-Creation" in Chapter 8 of The Participatory Museum. CreateSpace, 2010. ISBN 0615346502 view online edition
- Terdiman, Daniel. “Collaborative gaming takes to the streets” c net 2006.4.14 4:00 archived article online