How to play “Where’s Marco”: A Travel Photo game (think Where’s Waldo/Wally)


For a while now, I’ve been meaning to spice things up over at Byteful Gallery, and today I’m excited to introduce a totally new approach to travel photography, as well as introduce a bit of a game component to the gallery itself.

Now you’re probably familiar with “Where’s Waldo” or the “I Spy” books. And if you’re not familiar with them, you should definitely check them out, because there’s a whole genre of wonderful books that feature huge drawings (or sometimes photos) which contain a hidden person or item that you need to find. And on humid summer days or cold winter mornings when you don’t even want to even think about going outside, opening one of these huge books and discovering their hidden gems is a fantastic way to relax, not to mention a fun activity to share, as well.

Growing up, I loved these types of books, and not long ago it occurred to me that I could have a lot more fun with the Byteful Gallery than I currently am, and more importantly, I can make it more fun for you all in a completely new way, too. Fast forward to a few days ago when I was hit by inspiration to finally sit down and experiment with this idea that had been floating around in my head for weeks. And if you’ve been following the @hellocrusoe twitter stream, you already know I’m pretty excited to share this with you.

Meet Marco the Spacefarer

Marco the Spacefarer standing on a white sand duneMeet Marco.
He’s from space.

Where, exactly?

I don’t know, but I do know he’s an explorer and the impetus for a new game called “Where’s Marco?” which is similar to “I Spy” or “Where’s Waldo”.

You see, he’s been following me on my adventures around North America ever since I visited Portland’s Lan Su Garden. He’s a tiny guy though, so you’ll have to look REALLY closely to find him. But he’s there. In fact, I found Marco in all 16 photos in the Portland’s Lan Su Garden gallery. I had a lot of fun finding him hidden in those photos. So, let’s go ahead and learn how this works:

How to Play “Where’s Marco?”

The “Where’s Marco” game is played similarly to how “Where’s Waldo” is played. There are three things you should know when playing “Where’s Marco?”:

  1. Link to Full-sized photos highlightedRemember to click on the “full size” link in the gallery. Marco is quite small. The full size link is under the “Your Screen Size” indicator on the top right. Important: If you’re using an iPad or mobile device, it will often be easier to find Marco if you save the image to the “Photos” app first. (This is because devices like the iPad won’t show full pixel detail in their web browsers if the image is above a certain size.)
  2. Watch out for Marco’s black cloak. Sometimes, when Marco has a tough time finding a place to hide where he can blend in, he’ll activate his cloak and turn completely black so he can blend into the shadows. This is pretty rare, but when it does happen the photo’s description will say that Marco is cloaked in blackness for that photo, such as in this photo. Just remember: if the description of the photo says he’s cloaked, he’s hiding in the shadows and darker spots of the photo. If the photo’s description is blank, then he’s definitely not cloaked which means he’s in the whiter areas of the photo.
  3. Remember where you can find more Where’s Marco photo galleries. It’s easy. You can always find the latest “Where’s Marco” photo galleries by visiting the “Where’s Marco” gallery collection in the Byteful Gallery. 🙂

What are you waiting for?

Why is Marco following me? What his is mission and motivation? I don’t know yet, but I suspect he’ll show up again soon. Luckily, he seems friendly. But if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.





5 bits on How to play “Where’s Marco”: A Travel Photo game (think Where’s Waldo/Wally)

  1. Love it! Marco makes looking at your photos even more fun. I’ll show the photos to my kids when they get home from school, this will be fun for all of us.

  2. Sounds like an awesome idea, Jennifer! I’m glad you like the idea! I wouldn’t expect the kids to get all of them though. Some of them are pretty darn hard!

    I’m wondering if I should put a notice above the photo when Marco turns his suit black. That’d make looking for him a little easier. What do you think?

  3. Hmmm, I don’t know. Some older kids (and me, I admit it) love the brain teaser element of this! Maybe you can do a mouse rollover saying “roll over here for a hint?”

  4. Excellent idea!

    Yes, I hoped that it would be challenging enough to be a true brain teaser, yet not so difficult as to be impossible or hopeless. Striking that balance can be tricky, but that’s why I had the difficulty vary from photo to photo.

    I like the rollover idea. I might just do that, or perhaps some black text over the black background of the gallery, so that you can read the hint only when you select it.

    Though the next article is focusing on the Chinese Garden itself, I’m very much looking forward to finding Marco in the next photo album. I won’t say where the next adventure was, but I will give you a hint: North.

  5. Pingback Marco Here. I am “borrowing” this blog to show how Backward your Planet really is. | Byteful Travel