I’ve posted a couple of things lately here and via the OutieSun twitter account about Yahoo’s Bus Stop Derby game. At first I posted that I thought that it was odd that, in a game that is being touted as a contest for the whole city, there are none of the converted Muni shelters located in the Sunset. In fact, the converted shelters are only located in a small concentrated area of the city. Even though there aren’t any of the converted shelters located in our neighborhood I thought, “Well, at least there is still an option of playing for your chosen neighborhood. I can get on board with that.” A few days later I posted the Sunset’s ranking in the contest.

Tonight I went down to 4th Street and King Street to find one of the Yahoo Bus Stop Derby Muni shelters to try and play the games. What I found was a nearly abandoned bus stop shelter that again made me question the choosing of the locations of the shelters. The area around the shelter was quiet in stark contrast to the fairly busy Irving Street area between 19th Avenue and 23rd Avenue that I had just left. When I tried out the games I ended up only playing three of the four games. Of the three games that I tried only one, centered around texting, called “Chatter Scatter” seemed easy to play. The other two games were hard to maneuver because you had to press down really hard to get the screen to respond and the games were based on speed so it was difficult to get the objects on the screen to move as fast as the game required.

As I played a couple rounds of  “Chatter Scatter,” each time selecting the Sunset as my neighborhood, a man with a grocery cart loaded up with trash bags covering what I assume were his belongings strode up to the shelter and asked me how to play the game I was playing. I showed him how and then watched as he finished the game I had started. As he went to start a new game he said, “I represent the Mission,” and selected the Mission as the neighborhood that he would be playing for. He explained that he knew how to play the other three games and then pointed to the score board which showed the Mission neighborhood’s points up into the thousands and well above any another neighborhood score and proudly said, “I got most of those points up there.”

Now maybe there are a lot of Mission neighborhood residents out there playing the Yahoo Bus Stop Derby but clearly there will be a few homeless people playing these games on cold nights while the rest of us are bundled up in our homes. I promise you I’m not salty over the fact that the Sunset neighborhood’s homeless population won’t have a chance to help us win our neighborhood an OKGo concert but it does seems like an opportunity for Yahoo to do something for the city’s homeless population considering the likelihood that they too will be playing these games and may end up determining the winning neighborhood. Here’s a suggestion:  Yahoo could give out blankets or coats to the homeless around the converted Muni shelters or have people bring blankets or coats to be donated as their tickets to the concert and those can be given out to the homeless people living around the Muni shelters. At the least, Yahoo should make sure that the guy out there playing for the Mission across from the Caltrain gets to see that concert.

If you’re interested in working to fight homelessness in the Sunset, Carmen Chu’s District 4 Events Calendar lists a standing community meeting of the Westside Neighbors to End Homelssness at the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center on the first Monday of each month between 6:30pm and 8:30pm.


Sunset Currently 3rd in Yahoo’s Bus Stop Derby

Bring It To The Sunset