Play Journal: October 7 – 13

by Thom Kiraly

HA! I did it! I finished a Play Journal on time. Do I want an award? Do I deserve one? No, but it would be kinda nice. No? I’m not getting one? Maybe just an achievement, then.

Automat – Gothenburg’s Indie Arcade
(the arcade took place on oct 6, so this is actually cheating, but by then I’d already posted that week’s play journal, so… WHAEVA!)
The Room (interaction design student project)
– A guy mapped a virtual room to a corner in an actual room. This can then be interacted with by using a move controller attached to a tiny projector working as a flashlight, illuminating only the part of the wall that’s actually being pointed to. One person controls this flashlight, and the other interacts with objects in the room using another Move controller. The theme is horror and it was cool, but shooting monsters ended up getting in the way rather than being scary. I don’t think it was married to the theme and interaction of projecting light on a surface to advance in the game and I would have hoped that those ideas would be carried through and used to defeat or get rid of monsters as well.
Ultimately, it was a good experience and most definitely unlike anything I’ve ever tried. I hope the guy who made it graduates with honors. Make it happen, Staffan! Just kidding, I know Staffan doesn’t read this.



LAZA KNITEZ – Fun as usual and it was nice being able to show it to old friends… until it started smelling funny and it had to be turned off. TOO MUCH TECHNOFUTURE!!
Chain jam games – The Babycade from Copenhagen featured Chain Jam Games. Most were over before I knew what was going on. Sonar was cool
Super Pole Riders – Squished image and low sound volume. Still a great and strange game.
JS Joust – Somehow, this didn’t feel like the optimal setting for Joust. Maybe I’m still in love with the on-the-streets game we did at Malmöfestivalen in August.
Mrs Dad – Always a blast. Once again, I’m very happy to have played this with people who are important and close to me, but with whom I haven’t played a lot of digital games.
Tri-Tri-Triobelisk – I finished second in the tournament! Mostly because I had played Shot Shot Shoot before, but come on…
Super Hexagon – New High Score!!! 130 secs on 2nd hyper level. I never knew that it switches after 60 secs of hyper. All of a sudden I was in the hardest hyper level and ten seconds later I was out, hands shaking. I’ve, of course, been trying to get to that time on my phone (because that high score needs to be registered on my account) but I haven’t been able to.

Hexagon Pentagon

Super Hexagon high score, in a pentagon

Name Game – Passing a ball around, just getting a feel for the group and allowing everyone to introduce themselves.
Chinese Whispers/Telephone – Using funny faces instead of words. Basically a simple and good excuse to do loads of funny faces. We also combined this with actual whispers in a variant.
Ball Pass Workout – Stand in line, make a tunnel by standing with your feet far apart, pass ball from the front to the back through the tunnel, person in back runs to the front of the line crossing everyone who has now thrown themselves on the floor. This is apparently an old exercise from the Swedish worker’s movement. It got extra silly when we started shouting “fun” every time we hit the ground. Silly fun.
Red and White Rose/Wars of the Roses – One team hides a small object, the other team searches for it. Also, if a hider is tagged by a searcher, the hider must give a clue as to where the object is hidden. The clues give players a very useful pacing tool. If the game has gone on for too long, just make the clues easier!


My friend, playing Zumbie at Automat in Gothenburg

Weekend workshop
Meet and Greet Bingo – More of an exercise, but it’s still playful. I gamed it and won. A strange but fun thing to do in this setting.
Card Bureaucrats – Group exercise meant top teach you things about collective and group leadership. It involves being very quiet and passing cards according to a strict model. For A (the person at the top of the model), it was a puzzle, for me, it was totally a game. This exercise had such a strange vibe to it that I feel like I want to make it into an absurd larp.
Tiles and Runners – A game preceded by a group exercise where participants, starting out blindfolded and standing along a rope, are tasked with making the rope into a square. Needless to say, communication is key (read that again, by the way. Did I just start a sentence talking about communication by stating that it was needless to say? Yes! Yes, I did!). By the end, we had a nice square, and the instructors randomly distributed tiles (the kind you can use to put on you balcony) with numbers painted on them in the square. Two teams then competed to see which one could, using as many participants as they felt like (but only having one inside the square at any given moment), step on the tiles in numerical order. We set a new record by plotting optimal courses across the field and letting runners do very short runs. Good fun. I’ll probably use it myself some day. Great field game.


Tiles & Runners

SuperHot – Creepy vibe. I had somehow gotten the impression that it had much more of a action movie feeling. I don’t know why. Hope it is developed further.
Vesper.5 – Thought I’d be done by now. I’m not. So it goes.

There’s a video out from the Automat event. Check it out: