We all wear various identities and masks every day. Since I was just a boy one of those identities has been that of "basketball player". And as someone who still plays the game years later, I have long wondered:
Does the Global Village proposed by Marshall McLuhan have a basketball court?
With the support and participation of basketball players around the world, I hope we begin to answer that question on June 10, 2009.
Introducing Global Village Basketball
People play pickup basketball all over the world every day. On June 10, 2009, the Global Village Basketball game will use the internet to attempt to link as many of these local games as possible together into one large meta-game.
How? Imagine millions of pickup basketball games occurring simultaneously around the world on June 10, 2009, with each identifying one team as Red and the other as Blue.
Each pickup game will able to upload the baskets scored at their game location (via laptop, cell phone, or handheld device) so that all of the Red scores are added together and all of the Blue scores are added together to form one aggregated score.
Photos may also be uploaded so that you can see all of the other people playing with you in the Global Village Basketball game that day. The idea is to create the biggest game of basketball possible, stretched around the world to touch everyone passionate about the game, and to encourage participation by every level of age, skill, fitness, personality, etc.
All are welcome to play — it is a totally inclusive game of basketball, and there is no cost to join but the desire to be a part of this unique event.
If you are interested in being a part of the Global Village Basketball game, you can help in the following four ways:
1. Tell every basketball fan you know. As you can imagine, it is word-of-mouth awareness that will make this type of networked basketball game a success. If you would like to forward this post to a friend, just click this link.
2. If you are on Facebook, please join the Global Village Basketball FB group (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2305999547), and invite your friends that would be interested by clicking the "Invite People to Join" link on the right-hand side of the page.
4. Plan to play on June 10, 2009. Or, at the very least, open a gym space somewhere for a few kids to join the game. Playing matters.
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The Global Village Basketball game will constitute work towards my doctoral dissertation in the Media and Communications program at the European Graduate School on networked sport and community politics. I first had the idea for the game back in 2002, which I elaborated upon in an open letter to the NBA and WNBA on the popular sports community site SportsFilter. The game as it will be played on June 10, 2009 is fairly different from that original vision in structural terms, but the guiding spirit and philosophy for the project remains intact.
I will continue to document the more academic elements of the Global Village Basketball journey here at sportsBabel. A menu of relevant posts will be available in the sidebar.