The people were the best part of the whole experience: open, fun, happy, engaging and friendly. Compared to many standard “con” scenarios I have been to, there were no cliques, no pedantic rule-wankery, no sexism, no superiority - just excited people and pure fun distilled into each game. Smiles and inclusion were all I saw around me. It was the baby bear’s porridge of not-too-organised and not-over-engineered. Despite my reclusive INTJ nature, it was easy to make friends, to join a gang, to be part of something. One of the incredibly awesome people we met, Nicklas, even took @theAllThing and I all around Christiania on the Monday after the festival.
There were so many talks during the weekend that were really interesting, including my highlights:
- Richard Lemarchand talking on constraints as a way to get creativity flowing & his top experimental games of 2012 (no surprises there for me: Starseed Pilgrim, howling dogs & Space Team.
- Zuraida Buter talking on the new playful culture and the myriad games collectives springing up all over the world. You can keep up to date on playful culture through following her tumblr Playful Culture.
- Miguel Sicart talking on why play matters through a fascinating philosophical rant (“Fuck games!” - we should focus on the play/verb rather than the thing/noun) that took in Nietszche and Greek tragedy;
- Simon Andersen talking on making friends with boardgames and how frame theory/oscillation fits into this (lots of tips on throwing people off their game via insults!).
and of course…the Games!
And then the games - dear lord the games - I took notes on each game I played over the weekend and I somehow managed to play 19 (!) games within 2 days in addition to all the talks, dancing and chatting. I can’t talk about everything we played, but I enjoyed every single one. Here’s the highlights:
- The fun and privilege of playing the games of the masters game design students there, Socks of Chaos and Mussades being my favourites.