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Interesting links for August

This month in physical games and embodied play…

OPEN CALLS

The Hand Eye Society’s WordPlay festival is happening at the British Library this year, which is pretty amazing! Jo Summers (who among many, many other things is digital producer on Now Play This) is directing the festival this year, and if you’ve got a “writerly game” you might want to show, submissions are open until 28 September.

And in Bristol, there’s one and a half days left till the Playable Cities open call closes. This is a £30,000 award for the development of a new work around play and cities – this year they’re particularly interested in proposals focusing on journeys. The initial submission of an idea is pretty quick and straightforward, so if you’ve got something that might fit you should definitely, definitely pop it in.

DESIGN, MAKING AND CRITICISM

Andy Field’s written a great short essay on games in cities – it’s for an upcoming book but he’s put it online, and it’s worth a read. It touches on the history of artists making play in public, on questions of who is permitted to play in cities, and some possible future directions. “Behind me I could hear another supervisor using a loudhailer to encourage these new players to disperse. This was not the kind of play we had anticipated, and not the role we thought we would find ourselves playing.”

Interesting things for July 2016

Above: Gamepost by Josh Lee, due to appear at the Market Street Prototyping Festival in October.

This is July’s collection of interesting things going on in live games and embodied play – open calls, upcoming events, and interesting articles we’ve come across recently.

OPEN CALLS

Submissions are open for the Leftfield Collection, a curated show of interesting new work that sits within EGX at the NEC, Birmingham, 22nd – 25th September 2016. They say: “We’re also especially interested in accommodating custom hardware and unusual games (e.g. Tenya Wanya Teens, Glow Tag, and Line Wobbler are things we’ve shown before). If you have such a project, by all means submit.”

Response: Block Stop’s “By The End Of Us”

This Tuesday, we popped over to the opening night of Block Stop‘s “By The End Of Us” (running at Southwark Playhouse until 11 June – two more nights, as of now).

We’ve shown Block Stop’s work at a couple of events in the past – at the Wellcome Play Spectacular and at Now Play This 2016. They make “staged interactive events in which participants simultaneously experience both video gaming and theatre”.

What this tends to mean, in practice, is that there’s a playable actor – a performer with a camera strapped to their head – whose point-of-view is livestreamed, in videogame first-person view, to a player. The playable actor asks for advice as they explore tunnels, talk to other performers and hunt for their objectives; the player gives instructions and suggestions, attempting to navigate the actor successfully through the story (solving puzzles, defusing bombs, tracking down enemies, suggesting things to say to other characters, etc etc).