Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why I wasn't writing last weekend

This game was called Ghost Patrol. The conceit was that we were hunting and exorcising ghosts. Slime was involved. There was an entry fee, but all the money is right up there on the screen, as they say. I saw - and I only lasted 11 hours - a specially made kung fu DVD, names carved on grains of rice, specially doctored Frisbees, rubber chickens with clues somehow sealed inside, special coinlike objects with words written on them (these were buried in the sand near Crissy Field) and photographs of tombstones with apparent ectoplasm blurring certain words.

Plus, there was a brand-new invention called the SharC, which was a GPS-based range finder thingie (sorry to be unclear - as a friend said, explaining the Game is sort of like explaining the Internet), special software to be loaded into a laptop, plus an extensive handbook that included a list of I Ching ideograms, a Chinese calendar, the periodic table of the elements, descriptions of all known ghosts with "photographs" of same, a color wheel, a Morse code chart and ever so much more.

-- Jon Carroll, "Forget it Jake, it's the Game," San Francisco Chronicle, November 12, 2008

Team Snout had a great time playing in Ghost Patrol, which was a well-run Game by any standard.* The fact that it was put on by a first-time Game Control (lowkey, Desert Taxi, and many helpers) makes it even more impressive, and speaks to the increasing strength and camaraderie of the bay area Game community.

I admit, when Snout first started running Games, I was a bit possessive and even defensive about making our events "better" than previous ones in some way. Now that we've run a few Games and I have a bit more perspective, I'm glad that every new Game seems to be improving on its predecessors. A successful event is good for everyone involved, and trying new things and sharing those experiences allows all of us to learn. Think of it as evolution in action!

For that reason, and a few others, I'm very excited about next fall's Muppet Movie Game. It'll be interesting to hear from another GC as they're actually planning an upcoming event, and to compare how they do things with how we've done them in the past.

Now, though, it's back to NaNoWriMo for a couple of days, then off to The Sitcom Room next weekend. Life is busy. Life is good.


* By GC's own count, they only had 13 FAILs and one major hint line snafu. Read more in the GP Forum.

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