Weekender Games: four at once!

01 July 2010 | 0 comments

So we’ve had a break from our Game A Day policy, due to some boring technical problems, but now we’re back, and why not get back into the swing of things by looking at not one, not two, not three, but FOUR GAMES at once?

They’re all running on the Friday night of the Weekender, as part of a group of good old around-the-table bickering-and-bartering games; the type of game that encompasses everything from Victorian parlour games to endless rounds of Werewolf, the Sandpit favourite in which innocent villagers and secret werewolves try to figure out who’s who without getting eliminated.

Getting to Know You: Seated Global Network, from Kai-Oi Jay Yung, is almost a collection of minigames, rather than one game itself. The game leader sets task after task; players take part, and they’re gradually eliminated not by their failure at the games but by the whim consensus of the other players. A version of the game ran in Manchester in May, and for the Weekender it will be running on Friday at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00.

Aliens Among Us is brought to the Weekender by James Wallis, but it’s based on an idea by the late Erick Wujcik. In many ways it sounds like a game that someone invented in response to Werewolf – a group of players sit around the table; some of them secretly wish to destroy the others; paranoia rules as deductions go awry. But Aliens Among Us is actually an older game; Wujcik started playing it in the early 1980s. There was never a recorded ruleset, so James has constructed something based on play reports, people’s memories, and his own ingenuity. It’ll be running on Friday at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00.

Spinning Narrative, from Dave Green, is a game for six players and a rotating video camera – the spin of the camera determines who takes the next turn, but the other players determine the constraints on what he or she has to do. It’s a fascinating game because it creates its own documentation, filming as play proceeds; but it’s an incomplete documentation. You see each player take their turn, but you don’t see what the other players are doing as that happens, so there’s plenty of room for undocumented spite and plotting. Spinning Narrative will run pretty much every half-hour from 7:00 on Friday.

Musical!, by Jenifer Toksvig and Andrew Tilling, is a storytelling game based on those old-fashioned musicals where suddenly, all at once, the characters burst into some sort of tangentially relevant song, and then two minutes later get back to the story at hand. It’s extremely straightforward, and it’s fascinating how a really simple ruleset can nevertheless make people feel much more comfortable about starting a song (and joining in on other people’s songs…). Even so, it’s best after people who drink have had the chance to do so just a little, so it’ll run at 8:00, 8:30, 9:00 and 9:30.

And yes, since you ask, Werewolf is scheduled as well, at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00.  Plus all our usual Pick Up & Play parlour-game stuff will be sitting around, some spare Werewolf decks, some equipment from a few of the games we ran during our Beyond Werewolf night last year. And, of course, a couple of very different games… but those will have to wait for another day.

Picture by amuchmoreexotic: playing Werewolf in ICA lobby

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