Three very interesting and rather varied events coming up this weekend. It’s an exciting time!
1) The Intervirals blog reminds the world that Friday 4th September sees the first known Escape Games Convention taking place in Stuttgart, Germany. After a welcome dinner tomorrow night, the day features workshops, speeches and networking. Tickets are still available, and if you want to learn a load of best practice in the course of a single day then there’s no better way to do so; the rest of the world can follow the action remotely via the Twitter hashtag #EGC15 ((UPDATED, 04/09/15)) and Intervirals has already done much of the hard work for the rest of us. Looking forward to following the action!
2) In London, there’s a very exciting-looking event called Now Play This happening on Friday 4th, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September, at Somerset House’s New Wing.
“Over the weekend we’ll be home to dozens of games and playful activities of all descriptions – from a wooden pinball machine to a soundscape in a tent; from unreleased video games to a papercraft workshop. ((…)) On Friday we have a special focus on game design – come along for a first glimpse at some upcoming games, and join us for lightning talks from designers and players throughout the afternoon. On Saturday it’s all about playing, with a packed schedule of games set alongside the exhibition. And Sunday is a day of experimentation, with a showcase of strange interfaces in the morning and workshops all afternoon long.
Tickets are available from the Somerset House website, at £5 for a morning or afternoon ticket for a particular day, or £12 to return as often as you like across the weekend. Families are welcome, though not all games are suitable for children.” One of the attractions will be Pint-Sized Puzzles to pick up and play at your leisure – to be fair, it’s not the biggest or most original attraction in the world, but something to tickle if you were going to be there already – and I shall be available to give hints at lunchtime on Saturday. Do say “Hi!”
3) If you prefer your puzzles a little more competitive, then this weekend sees the annual online US Puzzle Championship, which runs (with no charge for participation) from 6pm to 8:30pm, UK time, on Saturday 5th September. You’ll have two and a half hours to score as many points as you can by solving an assortment of logical, word and picture puzzles, probably with slightly more to choose from than even the best puzzler in the world could solve within the time limit. On Friday, you’ll be able to download the preview instructions and find out what sorts of puzzles will be available for you to face this year, so that you might form your plan of attack. The puzzles vary in difficulty but the test is intended to select some of the US team for the World Puzzle Championship, so they are very much in line with the levels of difficulty you get at the Big Dance. Always a hard test, but always a great test!