avete atque valete

ave atque vale

Don’t worry, nobody has died, nor is this to be taken as a suggestion that this site is going anywhere. However, people move on, and now seems like an excellent time to salute those who have earned glory through puzzle projects in the recent past and then moved elsewhere.

Thank you to DeeAnn Sole and Curtis Chen for 213 episodes, over five years, of the Snoutcast podcast, the last of which was posted today. 90% of the episodes considered puzzle games they had played, or run, or thought about, and the other 10% were also very entertaining simply because they seem like lovely people with a jokey but respectful relationship that works well for them. Just over a third of the episodes had interviews with people involved in running puzzle games, including the twelve monthly episodes through 2014, which attempted to remedy subconscious bias by focusing on women who run games. Loads to think about, masses to learn, and a wonderful source of inspiration if you want to dream about puzzle games that have been played and might be played in the future. Their play in the field carries on, even if the podcast has cast its last.

Thank you to Lisa Long and Jordan Smith, who were the first people to get up and dance on the metaphorical dancefloor of the modern London puzzle hunt community. The two of them were foremost, among the friends and volunteers they raised, in running DASH 5 and DASH 6 in London in 2013 and 2014, and also the Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play one-day puzzle hunt as well. Their stories and reasons for moving on are happy ones; Lisa is off to the continent where she has an extremely exciting-sounding job (and a climate that suits her better… in the way that you’re probably not expecting!) and Jordan is off to further the forefront of original research as he is off to complete a post-doc in Japan. If they go on do to even nearly as much for the local game and puzzle communities there as they have done in London, London’s loss will be very much the world’s gain; fingers crossed that their paths will give them good reason to come back to London some day.

Thank you to Daniel Peake, who started and co-ran (with Lisa Long, as discussed above) the London branch of Puzzled Pint. Dan oversaw the first month with just five teams; over time, it has more than doubled in size – more than tripled on the last occasion, and the steady growth over Dan’s year plus in charge is down not just to the fun puzzles but very much to Dan’s friendliness, accessibility, charm and charisma. Puzzled Pint in London rolls on, with Charmie and (full disclosure: my wife) Meg carrying on Dan and Lisa’s sensational start.

These good people may have gone for now, but – if London is lucky – they may not be gone for good. They are gone but not forgotten in the best way; they deserve to be praised, thanked and fondly remembered for the fun they brought and the excellent and inspirational examples they set. Onwards and upwards!

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