Now, I love the unconference format so I’m always more likely to like an event which uses it. I love the serendipity, love the involvement, and love the way the format shares knowledge and experience so much more effectively than a traditional “Moses from the Mountaintop” style event.
But I do admit that there are no stabilisers, no rails, not much to stop it going wrong. (As an example; unconferencing didn’t work so well at Boardgamecamp, where most folk were interested playing not talking.)
Gamecamp 2011 just rolled. Every session was worth the time, every break was essential to stop too much of my brain leaking out of my ears, and a quick go at zombie-hunting through the third floor was an ideal respite from some great theoretical sessions.
The exciting thing for me was that my world, larp gaming, is genuinely interesting to others. The kinds of things people are doing in a much more mainstream, accessible, kind of way are the kinds of things we have experience of. The kinds of lessons we’ve learned are useful elsewhere. And the kinds of things I want us to be better at; well, boardgame designers know them well, and video game designers have a lot to teach us too.
So, when we talk about narrative, and and when they talk about structure vs. freeplay, or distilling mechanics, or gaming in museums… Well, we’ve all got a lot learn from each other.
- Economics affects game play: coin-ops had boss fights to get replays, socialgames that want ad impressions brew long engagement. (And progression or a downtime system in larp does the same?)
- Stories happen when you aren’t trying; an inspiring space to play in can be as useful there as the strongest imposed narrative. (And that’s story vs. sandbox in larp…)
- Shooting zombies is always fun.
Overall – an excellent day, and thanks to the organisers…
Here’s my curation of my day – errors and omissions, please call’em out: