Dat Best Games Fest – Luke Schenker

Getting off the bus my mind filled with wonder; what wonders could the Games Fest hold? Could it be a giant life size pong interface, or perhaps a virtual reality simulator? Since I didn’t read the schedule of events, it was up to my imagination…

That is until I arrived, upon which time I got a free shirt and wristband that entitled me to a fraction of a keg to be tapped later on. The day was looking bright, until we formed teams with… strangers! To summarize, it was a strange group. Luckily I had my two fine gentlemen Alex and Mark from Alternative interfaces to back me up!

For the next two hours we wandered around the city doing their revolutionary twitter idea. The idea was simple: put posters up around the city that told people to take a picture of themselves with the poster and tag it “Pgh1” through “Pgh5”, each being one of 5 locations. They had hoped this would cause a trend of people all taking their pictures at the sites and that it would expand to more sites. This was a good opportunity to analyze the downfall of the teams idea, because it had several problems…

First, people passing have little to no incentive to take their picture with it because all it offers is that they took their picture with a sign that is advertising for something they don’t recognize; very few people would stop for this. Second, if they wanted to take a picture anyways, why use a tag that they don’t know what it is. It is for all these reasons that near the end of our putting up signs that Alex and I bailed on the group to see the fountain. It was awesome.

Then we played a game called “Wandering Gnomes”, the idea was simple: everyone gets a card with a phrase to decode and a few decoded words. To decode your instructions you had to ask around if people had the decoded words in your phrase. It was an interesting idea, and if it hadn’t whittled my self-respect down to a nub by the thousandth time I asked if anyone knew “Wishy-washy-woo-tittle-tee” it definitely would have had some promise. However my dignity could handle no more of the game, and the keg was nowhere in sight, so me and Alex left Mark to play with the gnomes.

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