The Upgrade!

by Olle Jonsson, Thorbiörn Fritzon and Tobias Wrigstad

The Upgrade! is a jeepform scenario by Vi åker jeep (We go by Jeep) that works much like a showcase for jeepform techniques. It uses telegraphing, contextualisation, monologues, insides and outsides, supporting characters, dissolves character ownership, repetition, etc.

The Upgrade! was first concieved, in a quite different format, during the Swedish con Halmicon in Halmstad, 2004 by Thorbiörn Fritzon and Tobias Wrigstad. It was then revised completely adding a third author, Olle Jonsson, to the credits roll, for Knutpunkt 2005 in Norway.

The game is about our prejudice for participants in reality shows and reality shows. In particular, Temptation Island and the like. Couples sign up to be in the show, are broken up and used to form new couples that date with cameras present and live together in the luxurious Upgrade! resort on some exotic location as far from everyday life as possible. In the end, there is a closed vote by all participants whether they would like to STAY in their old relationships, or UPGRADE to the new one. New relationsships where both partners independently votes UPGRADE get to stay together for another week at the UPGRADE luxury resort. The audience may also vote for the “couple of the week”, or by popular demand force two people into a couple if enough people believe that they would it each other. Couples that Upgrade! are rewarded in the spirit of creating good television. Couples that survive the show end up in the "Hall of Faith". Sometimes, they will get a reward.

The layout was made by Frederik Berg Olsen.

6-8 players, 1-3 game masters
2-5 hours
Capsule definition:
Massive use of jeepform techniques
v.1 at Halmicon in 2004, v.2 at Knutepunkt, Oslo in 2005


The Upgrade! has been played almost too many times. Some notable examples are at Fastaval in Denmark in 2005, at Ropecon in Finland in 2006, at AmberCon in Italy in 2007, at Dreamation in the US in 2008 and at Camp Nerdly in the US 2008. Interestingly, the game has been played twice in Sweden—at Halmicon in 2004 and at Stockholm's Spelkonvent in 2007. It was also an official game at UppCon in 2006, but we are not sure it was actually ever played (We were all at RopeCon at the time). The Finnish instance of the game was played with audience participation and is to the Jeep's knowledge the largest freeform or Jeepform game played to date with over 150 participants.