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Papa John’s Pizza Virtual Reality Driving Sim

You’re probably familiar with the story of Papa John and his pizza empire.  In order to start his business, John sold his prized Camaro so he could get his first pizza oven.  Now he has franchises around the world and a multi-million dollar pizza empire.

Now he’s decided to give that Camaro to the world.  Via virtual reality, anyway.  If you can find his original Z28, he’ll give you $25,000 for it.

The game involves a pizza box printed with the camaro, the Internet, and a Web cam.  Sound complicated?  It’s way more complicated than it’s worth, I promise you that.  Here’s a minute-long video explaining the process:

There are a few obvious problems with this:

  1. Why do I need the Camaro graphic from the box again?
  2. If I just finished a pizza so I can play this game, do I really want to see ads for more pizza?
  3. Is there actually a point to this game?  Or is it like the Sims: virtually pointless?

The idea behind the game is OK, I guess.  I can understand the concept and the intent.  What I can’t understand is why Papa John’s thinks this will catch on or in any way be fun.  It’s cool to drive the little car around for about a minute.  Then it’s just kind of pointless.  I don’t think it even has turbos.

In the end, the whole thing seems like the kind of marketing ploy made by executives who want to get “online” with their product, but really are clueless about how it works.  You know, the suits who are stuck in the 1990s and think that “getting on the Internet” involves magic pixie dust.

If you want to try the game for yourself, it’s free and you can print out the game token (aka Camaro graphic) from the game’s site to use.  Be prepared to spend five minutes getting your camera to be positioned right to pick up the Camaro.  If you have an integrated cam in your notebook, good luck.

Take it from me: it’s not really worth the effort.

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