Shakey has it all: Realtime, Mobile, Browser and User & Audience Engagement

It was great to attend Culture Hack Scotland last weekend. Some great apps were created but, of course, I was particularly impressed with one hack that used Pusher: Shakey: a Realtime, Massively Multiplayer, Shakespearean parlour game.

Shakey is a game which used a combination of a Macbeth Dataset from EDINA, RoR, JavaScript and Pusher to deliver not only the winner of the most fun award, but the overall winner of the event.


There are so many things to like about this application:

A combination of desktop browser & mobile web apps

The idea of using the web browser as a stage projected onto a big screen in front of a room full of people was a true winner. Getting everybody else involved in joining the world of Macbeth via a mobile application is something that worked really well.

Assigning roles to the audience

To assign roles as actors to members of the audience based on first come first served added an initial level of gamification. Then, by giving those that didn’t get to be actors the ability to throw flowers if they liked the acting or tomatoes if the acting was rotten kept everybody engaged in the experience.


Realtime web technology has been around for a number of years. It’s most common uses are simple data updates and of course realtime chat. These simple things can add massive value to an application, but it’s fantastic to see such innovation with realtime web technologies – not only in terms of the technical solution that was delivered, but the thought applied to using these technologies in new, exciting and fun ways.

Interaction & Engagement

Before I went to Culture Hack Scotland I wrote a post about how Pusher could be used at Culture Hack Scotland. My focus was that it should be used to built interactive and engaging experiences. The Shakey team absolutely nailed it and whole heartedly deserved to be winners.

The Shakey Team

The Shakey team consisted of:

A big shout out to them for a job well done. Not only that, but we’ve given them all 6 months free Startup plan access so they can continue to build awesomely innovative realtime web and mobile apps.

You can read more about the Shakey application in Phil’s Culture Hack Scotland blog post and more about the technical details on his tech focused Shakey blog post. You can find out more about the rest of the Culture Hack Scotland apps in this comprehensive app list.

Finally, thanks to Rohan Gunatillake (@rohan_21awake) for inviting Pusher along to Culture Hack Scotland.

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