Casual Games for Casual Hikers: Join In!
OUTLANDIA RESIDENCY, JULY 6th-12th, GLEN NEVIS http://www.outlandia.com In the second week of July I'm going to be doing a storytelling games residency in a tiny cabin in Glen Nevis, Scotland. And I'd like you to come and join in. It's a project called "Casual Games for Casual Hikers". I'll be spending the week in Outlandia deviing games for hikers: short, expressive games which foster deep and absurd connections with the West Highlands, its visitors and its ecologies. Walking in the West Highlands is one of the times I feel happiest in the world, and I want to share that delight in a way that feels strange, exploratory, questioning, tricky and fun. Inspired by the tradition of “gamepoems” (see gamepoems.gizmet.com & shortgamesforlonelypeople.com), the games will be beautiful and stimulating to read in themselves, and some may be unplayable but exciting to imagine. The time will be spent researching and drafting the games by walking, sitting, observing, talking to hikers and asking them to play. You can come and play as well. I'm inviting game designers, playful poets and people who are just interested in gamelike things to come and visit the hut in the glen and take part in game-writing and play-testing. This is an open invitation -- you can come for an hour, a day or longer, and participate however you like. If you're interested, the message me here or find me by email at harry AT harrygiles DOT org. After the residency, I'll be turning the gamepoems into a publication (made freely available, thanks to Patreon support) as small cards that can be worn around the neck in plastic pockets, like maps. Here's an early draft of a casual game for casual hikers to whet your appetite: * * * TRASHMONSTERS (1) When a player first picks up a piece of litter, they get to tell the story of how that piece of litter got there. Each player starts telling a different story. (2) All the stories must be joyful and fantastical. Thus "This crisp packet was dropped by an eleven foot trash monster striding across the mountains from Stirling to Fort William to meet her lady love" is allowed, but "Two kids got drunk and left a beer can here because they are rude" is not. Storytellers should be trusted to decide for themselves what counts: no arguing. (3) For each successive piece of litter, its picker adds a new moment to their ongoing story, introducing a new event, character, feeling, or something else. (4) Any player can claim another's piece of litter by incorporating that piece's story into their own. Thus all the stories eventually happen in the same universe, shaping each other. (5) When you discover a TRASHPILE (many pieces of litter in the same place), everyone works together to tell how it got there. It can be part of existing stories, or a new collaborative story. Each piece of litter adds one brief line, and everyone builds the story with each litter and line. It should happen fast! (6) At the end of the walk, each player gets to bring their story to an end with a couple of lines. The ecosystem wins the game.
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