In October 2015, Matheson Marcault tried out ten new ways to play football – each one designed for GameCity by a different designer.
Nottingham was declared the City of Football for 2015, so GameCity decided to fill the Market Square with reimagined versions of the game for ten days, and they invited us along to curate it.
It was a brilliant experience – playing games right in the middle of Market Square made it really easy to get people involved, and we had commentators, referees and demonstration players from around Nottingham to help passers-by understand what was going on. Check out this Guardian article for more context around the project, or read about the individual games below…
The games ranged from silly to strategic, from absolutely hectic to quiet and compelling…
- We started with a Football Challenge in the NVA, inviting the kids of Nottingham to come up with their own ways to play…
- Then the tabletop football game Hexball, designed by Mink Ette
- Saturday 24 October saw Vampire Football, Grant Howitt and Mary Hamilton from Serious Business, in which players had to shelter from the sun under sheets as they played
- No Nonsense Football by Bennett Foddy had three balls in action at all times; the play never stopped
- Go Wide by Ricky Haggett of Hollow Ponds, pictured above, placed a single goal in the middle of the field – goals from one side went to one team, from the other to their opponents
- Selfish Football, by Mike Bithell of Bithell Games, gave players individual scores, with double points if you scored your team’s goal yourself
- Llaura Dreamfeel’s Frogball (below) had players don frog hats and leap from lilypad to lilypad
- Thiefa, by Simon Johnson, had players taking part in their own game – or dashing off-field to take bribes…
- Frozen Football, by Ian Hardingham of Mode7 Games, asked players to freeze as soon as one player took possession of the ball, making for a tense and strategic game
- And finally on the last day, we developed the individual challenge of Gauntlet Football so that players could win points in the Nottingham-wide contest of The Sheriff’s Gauntlet.
We’re currently collating the rules for all these games into a pamphlet, which will be available to download later in the year if you want to try out any of the games yourself!