The Randonautica app puts the user in the Director’s Chair of an adventure story yet to be written. By using the app, the user can break from their mundane day-to-day and take a journey of randomness into the world around them. Your mind is your guide as you observe and view the world differently.
What is Randonauting?
Randonauting is pretty simple. It’s using the app Randonautica to travel to a random place nearby. More specifically, it’s your very own choose-your-own-adventure game. You set the rules, the distance, the objective, and what happens next.
The most common use of the app and term “Randonauting” is to first set an ‘intention’ (for example, to find something new, something surprising, or something yellow), generate a location based on the app’s algorithm, head to the location and, well, find that thing.
The idea is to have an adventure and look out for your intention not just at the end goal but along the way too. You, the player, are encouraged to interrogate your surroundings. Perhaps you’ll find what you’re looking for, or find the answer to a question that’s been on your mind.
How does Randonautica work?
It’s a quantum number generator that translates to a co-ordinate. When you open the app you choose between an attractor (an area the app considers significant), a void (an area the app considers insignificant), or an anomaly (either of the two, it’s random).
On the second step of the app, you choose your RNG (Random Number Generator). ANU (Australian National University), or Temporal. This is just choosing between which number generator you want to use. I’ve found no real difference between the two.
How to set an ‘Intention’
Setting an intention is simply deciding what you want out of your Randonauting experience! I’ve had great success with the following intentions:
- To find something that sparks joy
- To find something unexpected
- “Life finding a way”
As your experience will be entirely personal, it’s important to pick something meaningful for you. Here are some suggestions to consider:
- The answer to a question that is on your mind
- Something unexplainable
- Proof of ghosts / aliens
- A puzzle waiting to be solved
Is this just confirmation bias?
Oh yes, absolutely! If you set out on a walk looking to find something particular (unless it’s TOO particular, like a “winning lottery ticket”), you’ll probably find it. Some people experience incredible co-incidences, and likely some people return home with no luck on their walk.
Why is Randonauting so popular?
The rise in Randonauting can be attributed mainly to TikTok. Users finding incredible things like stacks of cash, or horrifying things like literal crime scenes have been posted online and traffic to the app has increased massively. In particular, TikTok users have claimed to have found a suitcase filled with remains, unattached limbs, people on the brink of death, and supernatural experiences [Citation]. The experience is what you make of it, and you can read other’s experiences here or here.
The other contributing factor to Randonautica’s success is it’s launch in summer 2020. This was at the height of the lockdown in places like the USA and Europe. What better socially distant activity than a solo walk with just you and your thoughts?
Is Randonauting safe?
The app is as safe as you make it. You’ll be fine so long as you have some common sense about you. For example, no tresspassing, don’t Randonaut after dark, don’t enter a dangerous area, bring people with you if you’re unsure. You know the drill. Stay safe!
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.