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'Alley Of Doom': Play Indiana Jones In A D.C. Byway

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WASHINGTON -- Who hasn't dreamed of wearing Indiana Jones' hat, carrying his whip, while fleeing from a rolling boulder?

Those dreams are about to come true for people in D.C.

Sept. 29 will be the inaugural run of the "Alley of Doom," described by its originator, Sunlight Foundation policy manager Laurenellen McCann, as "a pop-up adventure game that lets you recreate and re-envision Indiana Jones' famous boulder run from the movie 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.'"

Like in the movie, the "Alley of Doom" boulder run will be triggered when the person playing Indiana Jones grabs a gold idol. After that there are some differences. Instead of running through the South American jungle, you'll be running through an alleyway in the District, somewhere near U Street. (McCann will give the exact location closer to the 29th.) Instead of being chased by an actual boulder, you'll be tailed by an inflated Zorb, covered in three sets of brown bedsheets.

Also, instead of running for your life, you can flee the boulder in any way you see fit, says McCann. "Does Indiana Jones bike away from the boulder? Does she dance? Does he steal a rubber chicken instead of the idol?"

The project, funded by a micro-grant from the Awesome Foundation, is free and open to all. Register on the Alley of Doom Facebook page -- McCann says she's going to encourage passersby to join in, too, since the project is as much about bringing strangers together as living out movie fantasies.

"After demo-ing the run in the alley behind my apartment, I noticed that something amazing happened. Although the 'test' started a just a few friends hanging out," she says, "Eventually, the whole neighborhood came out to play.

"I realized we'd turned our alley into something pretty unique: a space that caught people off-guard in such a way that they weren't just willing to look silly or act out their geeky fantasies," she says. "They wanted to hang out and meet one another."

And run from a giant inflatable boulder, while carrying a whip.

Check out an "Alley of Doom" test run in the video above -- the boulder has since been covered in the brown sheets -- and photos from another test below.

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All photos are from McCann's Alley of Doom Flickr set, used under a Creative Commons license.

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