GoCrossCampus (and later PickTeams) was the flagship product of GXStudios, a venture-backed company founded by four Yale students and one Columbia student active 2007 to 2010. GXStudios was one of the early players in the online social gaming space. As a new type of massively multiplayer, rivalry-based game, GoCrossCampus (GXC) was one of the biggest gaming crazes in the college world, involving hundreds of thousands of simultaneous players and reaching millions of students. Over half of all students on many college campuses played, and GXC inspired many players to recruit friends in cafeterias and dormitories to join a virtual battle, elect commanders, chat with teammates and foes in real-time, oust spies, and attend war strategy council meetings in their basements, libraries and dorm rooms.
All of the games were team-based tournaments, typically featuring multiple teams representing different affinity groups (colleges, high schools, sports teams, geographies, etc.) facing off asynchronously (as in GoCrossCampus) or in real-time (as in AlphaBlitz and Pocket Towers). These games were fueled by team spirit, taking sports and college rivalries beyond the playing field and onto every student's laptop.
GoCrossCampus, the company's flagship game, was a strategy game of territorial conquest in which opposing schools competed online to conquer each others' campuses. With the launch of PickTeams (a team-based social gaming platform), three new real-time multiplayer games were developed. In AlphaBlitz, players raced to find the most words in a grid with the fastest team winning. In PocketTowers, teams cooperated to build defenses and send waves of attackers at others teams in a "tower defense" style of play. In DomiNation, players competed in a rapid-fire "lightning" version of GoCrossCampus, set on a number of fun, themed maps.
In addition to college campuses, GXStudios also took on the world of corporate teambuilding events. The GoCrossCampus concept was expanded into a team-based exercise specializing in connecting virtual workforces through strategy gaming, boosting office morale, encouraging cross-team communication — eventually creating a new program called GoCrossOffice. GoCrossOffice was played by employees at companies worldwide, including Google, Vivendi, Digitas and others.
Unfortunately, the recession of 2008-2009 took its toll on GXStudios as well as ad and sponsorship budgets across the board. Rather than raising more capital and rebooting the business model, the management team decided to shop assets, license their IP, and wind down operations.
GXStudios was one of the first companies to come out of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI), a Yale University entrepreneurship initiative co-founded by GoCrossCampus creators Brad Hargreaves, Sean Mehra, and Jeff Reitman. Matthew O. Brimer currently runs the NYC alumni affiliate of the institute. YEI continues to create awesome startup companies to this day.
Here are some of the people that made GXC happen:
- Matthew O. Brimer (@brimer), Founder, Chief Marketing Officer
- Brad Hargreaves (linkedin), Founder, Chief Executive Officer
- Sean K. Mehra (linkedin), Founder, Chief Operating Officer
- Jeff Reitman (linkedin), Founder, Chief Technology Officer
- Isaac Silverman (@issilver), Founder
GoCrossCampus could have never taken place without its amazing team of all-star employees, including Leyla Alieva, Gerardo Giacoman, Nick Helton, Shane Hill, Walter King, Son Nguyen, Grant Rauscher, Pete Romano, Nick Selz, Heather Robinson, Rosie Stutsman, Henry Finkelstein, Emmanuel Quartey, Drew Teer, David Rolston, and Erik Semmelhack.
GoCrossCampus also owes much thanks to our tens of thousands of dedicated players, as well as Jim Boyle, Eric Goldberg, Easton Capital Investment Group, WGI Group, Dan Googel, Mark Hammond, Phil Gillman, Kurt Schneider, Greg Costikyan, Ed Pratesi, the law firm of Wiggin and Dana and Andrew Brimer, among many others.
Press / Buzz
The game, a riff on classic territorial-conquest board games like Risk, may be the next Internet phenomenon to emerge from the computers of college students.
GoCrossCampus represents a new kind of gaming that unites the participants of real communities in a common online cause.
GXC ... distinguishes itself from popular social networking sites like Facebook and massive multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft by combining elements of both.
Forget athletes and cheerleaders. The GoCrossCampus winners are the ones who get all the gorgeous ladies and sexy dudes.
- Yale Daily News, 4/7/09GoCrossCampus site expands
- Student Life, 12/5/08Wash. U. takes school pride online
- HMC News, 12/1/08HMC Wins Tech School Cyberbattle
- MN Daily, 12/1/08GoCrossCampus provides online realm for rivalries
- The Diamondback, 11/4/08Conquering the campus, one battle at a time
- The Technician, 10/29/08N.C. State gaining ground in GXC: Online rendition of Risk captivates ACC students
- The Daily Princetonian, 10/13/08Other Ivies team up against Old Nassau in online Risk game
- The Daily Tar Heel, 10/7/08Online game crosses over from Ivy League to ACC
- Georgia Tech Sports, 10/6/08GoCrossCampus ACC Tournament
- Gnovis, 10/3/08Interview with Brad Hargreaves
- FSU News, 10/2/08School spirit on the Web
- The Hoya, 9/30/08GU Grad Students Plan District Takeover
- The Dartmouth, 9/29/08Ivy League battles on GoCrossCampus
- The Rice Thresher, 9/19/08GoCrossCampus back for more virtual battles
- The Brown Daily Herald, 9/4/08GoCrossCampus set for a its next round of Ivy battle
- The Independent Florida Alligator, 4/18/08FIU threatens UF's lead in GoCrossCampus Florida Championship game
- The Buchtelite, 4/17/08New internet game stands by to become next Facebook phenomenon
- UD Review, 4/11/08A risky game of campus networking
- Student Life, 4/9/08GoCrossCampus: JKL wins campus war
- The Phillipian, 4/4/0811,000 Ivy League Students Wage War Over Internet With "Risk"-like GoCrossCampus
- The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, 2/28/08The online game which aims to conquer JHU
- The Daily Princetonian, 2/15/08Underdogs lead in online campaign
- Union Concordiensis, 2/14/08New campus-wide game encourages procrastination
- Florida State FSView & Florida Flambeau, 2/14/08Game unites college students
- The Drexel Triangle, 1/25/08'Risk' game launches, USGA seeks greater involvement
- The Rice Thresher, 1/11/07Will Rice Wins GoCrossCampus
- The Daily Princetonian, 1/9/08Princeton wins Ivy Risk tournament
- The Cornell Daily Sun, 11/19/07C.U. Fields Team for Online Game
- Yale Daily News, 11/12/07YEI urges Elis to 'stay and build'
- The Drexel Triangle, 11/9/07Take over Drexel, one building at a time
- The Brown Daily Herald, 11/9/07From their keyboards, commanders conquer
- The Rice Thresher, 10/26/07Residential College War
- Illinois State Daily Vidette, 10/25/07Web site creates new way to display school spirit
- Harvard Crimson, 10/24/07Harvard-Yale 2.0
- The Daily Pennsylvanian, 10/23/07Online gaming gets intellectual makeover
- The Dartmouth, 10/23/07Gamers compete in online Ivy League domination game
- RPI Polytechnic Online, 10/23/07GoCrossCampus, based on RPI, creates social network
- Yale Daily News, 10/22/07Ivy game of world domination to kick off
- WashU Student Life, 10/22/07South 40 to unveil online rescollege game of 'Risk'
- Yale Herald, 9/7/07GoCrossCampus turns Risk to new venture
- Inc Magazine, 3/09America's 10 Coolest College Startups - Yale University: MySpace Meets World of Warcraft
- Yale Alumni Magazine, 9/12/08Today Cambridge, tomorrow the world
- CBS News, 4/2/08Yale Students' Online Game Gaining Ground On Campuses
- The New York Times, 3/21/08Storming the Campuses
- The International Herald Tribune, 3/21/08Elite U.S. schools turn the fight for supremacy into online game
- NPR Morning Edition, 4/27/09New Online Game Grabs College Students' Attention
- FSU Headlines Radio, 11/8/08FSU Battling: Florida State University is in the midst of a tough struggle for the ACC Tournament championship
- Blogtalk Radio, 8/12/08Interview with Matthew O. Brimer of GoCrossCampus
- Casual Gamer Chick, 4/13/09PocketTowers: A New Type of Tower Defense Game
- Casual Game Informer, 4/13/09PickTeams.com: Teams, without the "getting picked last" part
- 98point2, 4/10/09GoCrossCampus Changes Name And Adds New Games
- College Mogul, 2/19/09Google Utilizes Yale Startup, GoCrossOffice, for Next Generation Team Building Game
- The Bumble Bee, 12/29/08Teambuilding 2.0
- POST Advertising, 11/25/08GoCrossCampus: Fun For the Kids, Presented by Your Favorite Sponsor
- ARGNet, 10/10/08Save Muggle Quidditch 2.0
- The Spin of the Daily Pennsylvanian, 11/14/08Total. Ivy. Domination.
- The Columbia Bwog, 11/13/08Columbia Conquers Brown's Campus, Destroys All Students
- ACC Nation, 10/1/082008 GoCrossCampus ACC tournament
- Hermenautic Circle blog, 9/30/08Ivy League warfare
- Alumni Futures, 9/22/08GoCrossCampus Returns
- The Columbia Bwog, 9/15/08GocrossCampus Ivy Tournament
- Millenial Leaders, 8/13/08Interview with Matthew O. Brimer of GoCrossCampus
- WallStreetOasis, 8/12/08Stop Bitching, Join the Battle!
- Student Businesses, 7/3/08GoCrossCampus
- GameCyte, 6/16/08GoCrossCampus Relies on Rivalries, Causes Localized Chaos
- Instructify, 6/4/08PWN Your Social Network with GoCrossCampus
- Sensei Talks, 3/27/08Go Cross Campus With Me?
- Kelci's College Life, About.com, 3/23/08Computer Games? College? Computer Games About College?
- Wesleying, 3/22/08Risk Meets College in Epic Online Battle Game
- The Collegiate Way, 3/22/08The Regimental College
- The Kept-Up Academic Librarian, 3/21/08GoCrossCampus May Be The Next Facebook
- Sports Illustrated, 2/1/08Weekend Primer: GoCrossCampus at Drexel University
- Alumni Futures, 12/17/07An Unusual Online Student-Alumni Connection
- Sports Illustrated, 10/29/07The Monday Awards
- IvyGate, 10/22/07And So It Begins...
- College OTR, 10/22/07GoCrossCampus Launches, Yalies Obviously Nerds
- The Columbia Bwog, 10/22/07Militarism grips Ivy League
- The Columbia Bwog, 9/10/07Feed your Napoleonic complex
This kind of game is a product of how people live and interact today--a tool that enhances real-world collaboration.
GoCrossCampus is appealing because it was personal. I felt like I was really fighting for Wash. U.
Sierra Online has offices around the world. GXO brought us all together in a fun and constructive way.
No matter how this game turns out it has done wonders with making us meet new people. I barely knew most of the people on my team but now I see them regularly.
In a game of GoCrossOffice, a company's building, offices, or geographies are divided up into territories that teams cooperate and/or compete to conquer via strategy, communication, and leadership. This is analagous to GoCrossCampus' gameplay on high school and college campuses.
GXO Case Studies
- Leadership in Games and at Work: Implications for the Enterprise of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games (IBM Study)
- Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders: Online games that put the future of business leadership on display (IBM Study)
- It's Time to Take Games Seriously (Forrester)
- Video Games Coming to a Workplace Near You (Gamer News)
- Keys to Teamwork / Teambuilding Success