Weekender Games: London Poetry Game

05 July 2010 | 0 comments

Today’s featured game is the London Poetry Game, and for a very good reason – it’s just gone live and playable! Yes, that’s right – if you’re looking forward to the Weekender and want to play something right now, you can.

A version of the game ran at the very first Hide&Seek Weekender, back in 2007, and Alex has written about it here. The short version, though, is this. The game revolves around an entirely new poem, written by Ross Sutherland. Different lines of the poem have been translated into an awful lot of different languages. And it’s up to the players to retranslate it into English.

If you’re a native speaker of, say, French, or Yoruba, or Welsh, or Swedish, or Gujarti, or any of the languages of the game, you can translate some of yourself… but if not, don’t despair! Nobody will be able to translate all the languages themselves, and that’s pretty much the point of the game. You need to find people who do know these languages, and enlist their help in the translation. There’s a phoneline to call each time you find someone, to record each line, and in the end the many different versions of the many different lines will fir together to create the finished piece.

(And if you find “competition” a better motivator than “art”, there’s also a prize for the player who translates the most lines, or the first player to complete the whole poem…)

The London Poetry Game is running now and will continue until noon on Sunday 11 July. The resulting work will be broadcast at the National Theatre at 3pm that day. The game was designed by Alex Fleetwood and produced by Sarah Ellis; poem by Ross Sutherland, technology by Chris Thorpe, artwork design by Consuelo Yavar Larrain.

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