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The Planetary Defense Force in action

The Planetary Defense Force in action Andy North


Ever want to be inside a video game? Of course you have.


If you were filled with envy instead of awe as you watched Tron or if you thought everyone on Nick Arcade were a bunch of chumps, than it might be time to head down to Links Hall and see if you get drafted as the Planetary Defense Force’s player one.



Rise of the Dinosaurs, the third “game” in PDF’s collection of shows (following March of the Robots and Conquest of the Moon), sees audience members fight back an invading dinosaur army in this part-scripted, part-improv stage show where the outcome of the show is beholden to the player’s whims. The chosen audience member will go through “levels” and take on challenges, but even if they fail, the show still must go on. So while every show starts out the same, the outcome changes from week to week.


The show’s creator, Andy North, began toying with this concept in April 2011 in a show called Adventure!, which was originally performed at a middle school with more than 80 kids. Stemming from a love of video games and an urge to break from the narrative constraints of 8-bit classics like Super Mario Bros. to answer questions like “why couldn’t I play as the Princess?” or “what happens if I decide to help the bad guys take over the world?” To answer these questions, North is seeking to expand the Planetary Defense Force into a weekly show.


So if your Nintendo Wii/Microsoft Kinect/Playstation Move is failing you in the immersion department or if your Choose Your Own Adventure book suddenly seems constricting, this video-game—inspired show should get you back in the game. 


Links Hall, 3435 N Sheffield Ave (773-281-0824, linkshall.org). Aug 27 and Sept 03 8pm; $5.




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