By Michael Dales and Sophie Sampson Explore the South Bank’s past by picking up the stories people have left behind. Drop in and play any time. Requires one iPhone per individual or group. All weekend, drop-in (duration 10 minutes to an hour)
By Dimma Davidoff An old favourite featuring villagers and werewolves, each group trying to weed out the other, with one problem: nobody’s quite sure who the werewolves are… Friday: 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 (duration 60 minutes)
By Present Attempt A walking game in the city. Build a map of London as you wander through the city, collecting smiles from strangers as you go. All weekend, drop-in
By Kevan Davis & Holly Gramazio Travel between different Londons and then make your way home, but watch out – in some versions of the city, the locals aren’t exactly friendly… Friday: 7:30 (duration 2 hours)
By Alex Fleetwood A new poem has been written in the languages of London Turn the page, play the game So that it can be heard… All weekend, or watch the performance of the finished piece at 3:00-3:30 on Sunday
By Greg Foster in collaboration with Contact – Manchester Join your David Dimbleby on Steroids host and his 2 tamed, professional and political street fighters as they invite members of the audience to voice their political ideas. Friday: 8:00, 9:30 (duration 35 minutes, drop in any time to watch or get involved)
Today I’m going to write about The Bloop, from Nikki Pugh. In a way, it’s quite a difficult game to write about, because nobody’s quite sure yet how it will work—we’re testing it out at tomorrow’s Warwick Arts Centre Sandpit, and things may be much clearer after that.
But in another way it’s very easy to write about, because we can just say: come on, it’s a game about whales that uses blacked-out beeping goggles that detect proximity by sonar, surely you want to play?
Today I’m writing about International Golf Proxy, from Simon Katan – a game that combines poker-style betting, the old warmer-cooler find-an-object game, and, er, golf. There’s an imaginary golf course, and an imaginary ball, and (non-imaginary!) rewards for players who use the right imaginary club.
Simon’s run games at Hide&Seek events since the very second Sandpit ever, back in early 2008. And almost all of these games have looked really rather odd from the outside. Pervasive games often look a bit peculiar, of course – players sneaking, players running, players trailing a bundle of balloons or trying to carry a rolled-up carpet. But with most games, you can at least guess at what the players are trying to accomplish. Simon’s games, on the other hand, somehow make perfect sense when you’re playing them, and are nevertheless extremely perplexing to watch.
The three constituent parts of EnterPlay (Mel Cook, Steve Pretty and Laura Kriefman) come from theatre, composition and choreography backgrounds respectively, and the game exploits all their areas of expertise.
If you ever find that you’re fleeing a blindfolded monster, trying desperately to keep out of its way, sneaking so that it won’t hear that you’re there; and if in the course of fleeing this blindfolded monster, you find you have a choice between running into a forest of hanging bells, and across a steppe of crunchy corn chips; and if you aren’t sure which way is safer, but you know you need to make your mind up right now… should this ever happen to you, go for the bells.
As the Weekender races towards us – three weeks to go! – we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of some of the games that we’re going to be playing. We’ll be updating these regularly and blogging about them in more detail, but here’s an initial flavour.
In 2007, at the very first Hide&Seek Weekender, I designed and ran something called the London Poetry Game. It was my first go at designing something on a grand scale… Basically, I wanted players to go out into London and find translators of a poem. A poem where each line had been translated into a different language… Translations were phoned in to a hotline, and then cut together to make the poem.
One of our eternal complaints at Hide&Seek – along with “we’re out of milk again” and “this game doesn’t have enough balloons” – is that, as designers, we often miss out on playing games ourselves. Which is part of why I was so excited to go to Come Out & Play, New York’s annual festival of street games. The other part of why I was so excited, of course, is that Come Out & Play is really pretty great.
Like our own Hide&Seek Weekender (which it was one of the inspirations for), it provides two and a half days of new games from a pile of different designers. This year there were 39 games, which is, you know, kind-of a lot – too many to write about in any sort of orderly manner, certainly, so I’m just going to concentrate on a few of my personal highlights…
We’re thrilled to announce our latest partnership with the cultural sector – we’re going to the opera! Hide&Seek and the Royal Opera House are collaborating on a period of R&D to investigate how game mechanics and digital technologies could integrate with ROH’s brand and digital resources to create new kinds of cultural product.