GREAT FALLS — There are many billboards around Great Falls, but three of them currently on the southwest side of town are connected to a game created by Matt Brewer.
The billboards simply feature the word "AkidaK" (scroll down for what it means).
Brewer says he wanted to create something to help spread positivity in the town, so he made a game - a photographic scavenger hunt - based on taking pictures to give Great Falls residents something fun to do outside.
There are six rounds to the game, each involving a different part of Great Falls to photograph.
“What I really wanted to do is just send a message let everybody know that we can have fun. We can get out. When you’re outside, you can take these pictures, you can play this game, family can do it. It’s free, there’s no ulterior motives, it’s just good clean fun,” Brewer said. “It’s a new way to see Great Falls with a fresh perspective.”
Not only is it for the community, it symbolizes a goal Matt made for himself. He has struggled with schizophrenia his whole life and says he wanted to do something for his kids. What he ended up with is a game that can played by all kids along with their families.
“You know I’ve struggled with this illness my whole life. It’s why I have my back injury. When I was 14, I was in the mountains south of Cascade and the voice in my head told me to do a risky thing and I did. I ended up taking a bad fall and I shattered my spine. And that’s why the rules of this game are so simple because those are the rules I live by as a schizophrenic. You know, to keep me out of trouble, to keep everything level. It’s a way to also show people with serious illnesses you can do cool stuff.”
The "rules" for the game are posted on Matt's website:
Rule #1 Be safe
Rule #2 Be lawful
Rule #3 Be kind
Round 1: Visit any park in Great Falls and take a few selfies #AkidaK
Round 2: Post pictures of GF taken from a big hill
Round 3: Take a picture of any bridge
Round 4: Get your best pictures of a court house or a train station
Round 5: A river or a dam
Round 6: Bring family members, a friend or one of your pets and take some pictures with one of six jets
The Bonus Challenge
Use the three billboards to find the secret location
As for the unusual website name of "akidak.com" - Matt explained that it represents the two-letter postal abbreviations for Alaska (AK) and Idaho (ID). He purchased the name several years ago while living in Alaska and considered creating a business involving transporting potatoes between the two states. He ultimately decided to use the site for this photographic scavenger hunt.