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August physical play roundup

The word "big" chalked onto bricks

It’s August! As always there’s some open calls and conferences and games going on, but there’s also a lot of interesting writing around this month.

Open Calls

WordPlay is back in Toronto and has an open call out for games and talks relating to the use of words in contemporary games. Games that are accepted for the showcase receive an artist fee of $80.

And Game on! El arte en juego, in Buenos Aires, also has a call out for an event to take place in December. The google form to submit a game is here. (No artist fee or travel support currently available, but past iterations of the event have obviously been great). They’re keen on experimental games, interactive playful objects, strange controllers and all sorts.

July physical play roundup

July! And here’s some of what’s going on in city play and physical games…

Open Calls

The Interesting Games Lab is back in Bristol, after a long sleep of quite a few years! This is really exciting –  Iglab was one of the earliest regular events for games with a big physical component, letting people meet up and playtest and  discuss their medium. It’s so fantastic to see it back with a run of events over the latter half of the year. The next Iglab (now run by Free Ice Cream) is on 25 July, or you can submit a game (there’s a selection of themes) for another event in the run.

And in London, Beta Public – a night of performance and videogames – has been announced for 13 November. They don’t have a call for at a bit of info about the event (or book tickets).

Art Deck

So, late last year we ran a series of drawing games, called Drawing Games because we’re really bad at names, at No Quarter. And one of them in particular – named Art Deck, for reasons as listed above – we really liked. Over the last six months we’ve been working on it, on and off, testing it out and developing it as part of the London Creative Network artist development programme.

The way the game works is: you lay out cards, one at a time, to form a sentence. There are three sentence parts. The first is usually a clear instruction: “draw a rectangle”, “draw some eyes”, “smash something against the paper”. The second is usually a compositional constraint or an adverb of some sort: “near the edge of the page”, “in red”, “petulantly”. The final card usually makes things difficult, or funny, or both: “behind your back”, “while carrying a burden”, “with your wrong hand”.