Games Quest

I spent most of Saturday on a quest to find art and to find the smartest people in the dealers space, and though I am not certain I accomplished either, I did manage to have some good conversations.

I started with Don and John who were friends of Karl’s and though they were really nice and indulged my question they were not help except that someone at the table recommended Fred Hicks as a person worth talking to. My question was “who is the smartest person in the room?” And he was suggested as a candidate.

He and I talked for about 15 minutes in the middle of the dealers room, and he made a slew of suggestions. I bought 3 of them. Suitors, A Penny For My Thoughts, and Steal Away Jordan.

I haven’t had a chance to play these yet and frankly the last one makes me uncomfortable which is a good sign. I need to talk with my co-conspirators but I think it falls within our category though it may end up being a little controversial.

I played the LARP afterwards which was really bad. I won’t even say which one it was it was so bad.

Afterwards I managed to connect with Ian Schreiber. Where do I begin on this. I have known Ian more off than on for at least two years maybe more. We talked briefly about games as part of the educators program several years ago at Origins. The program is or was quite fascinating in that they use to let in educators for free and actually ran a seminar track. This year they charged half price and only had an unused lounge. I suspect that the difference had something to do with the turnover in staff months and weeks before the con. It really did feel a little unorganized.

Anyhow I picked Ian’s brain about a games module I plan to run in Intro to Digital Media, and he consented to do one of my 30 minute CC videos on intro to game design. I am starting to like the format more and more as I talk about it. The videos start with a 20×20 pecha kucha and then are followed by about 23 minutes of depth and explanation. I hope they will end up having multiple uses and value to educators and students alike.

We also spent some time talking about the games curatorial, and the game jams that he has been running. Frankly it sounds like he would be perfect to coordinate our game jam and I wish he were closer to San José. His head is totally in the right place… if we are going to reach our chosen demographic we need to get them to the jam.

I spent the last bit of time hanging out near the werewolf game. I am thinking that this social game which really is much more about relations and interrelations may have a place in the curatorial too, but can’t yet call it art.

All in all Origins has been very fertile, and I have quite a lot of followup to do, including a bunch before our next meeting on Monday.

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