I’ve helped out with the program of this year’s NLGD Festival of Games. If you’re into gaming’s fringe phenomena, then this edition is not to be missed. The conference’s theme is “play global, global play” and will celebrate the impact of gaming beyond the screen. I curated several sessions focused on urban games and alternate reality games, some of which I will be present at myself. Here they are in no particular order:
Adrian Hon of Six to Start is coming over to Utrecht for a keynote titled “Why stories in games suck”. Adrian was one of the people behind the ambitious and influential ARG Perplex City. For a taste of what this session might be like, check out Dan Hon’s1 talk “Everything you know about ARGs is WRONG”.
During a parallel session, Evert Hoogendoorn will look at performance in games. Evert heads up the Design for Virtual Theater and Games program at the Utrecht School of the Arts. Knowing Evert, this session won’t be just about performance…
I’ll be moderating a session consisting of three case studies. You’ll get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the practice of three seasoned designers of urban games and ARGs. The presentations will be short but sweet, each followed by ample time for Q&A. The people I’ve asked to present are the aforementioned Adrian Hon, Nathalie Brähler of Cultural Oil and Ronald Lenz of 7scenes.
The elusive Minkette and myself will run a three-hour workshop, where you’ll get a crash course in designing simple but fun street games. We’re hoping to make this session very accessible, but also very much hands-on, physical and active. Minkette has been involved with Punchdrunk, Hide & Seek and The Soho Project; what better facilitator can you wish for?
The games developed during the workshop will be available for playtesting during a separate open session. You’ll get to play fun little games, and will be asked to vote on your favourite. The winner will receive an awesome prize.
Update: Before the open playtest session, I’ll be hosting a lunch session open to all people working in the area of social and tangible play. It’s on the program as “ARG lunch” but don’t let that fool you. If you make urban games, pervasive games, or any type of game that’s not limited to what happens on the screen, you’re welcome to join us. We’ll be looking at how we can join forces in certain strategic areas, but the session is also just about getting to know each other.
And there you have it. I’m quite happy with the way the program has shaped up, and I am excited to see how the sessions turn out (though I’m sure they’ll be great). If this has wet your appetite, why not head over to the NLGD Festival of Games website and get yourself a ticket right now? I hope to see you there!
- Dan is Adrian’s brother and business partner [↩]