My Non-Digital Games & Tears
Yesterday, I talked at the Triangle Games Summit about three of the six games in my series The Mechanic is the Message. It was an overwhelming experience that the Escapist was fortunately there to capture, because I don’t know that my memory would have done the experience justice: How a Board Game Can Make You Cry. I did not see the woman who left crying, but I did see people in the audience crying, and someone came up to me after and said some beautiful things, apologized for her tears and then hugged me.
It was the best player reaction I have ever received. It was amazingly moving for me, too. When I left the conference, I called three of my friends, all fellow designers, who are very familiar with the series and tried to explain what had happened. It is all so phenomenally unexpected. I don’t know if you’ve ever made something so different, that you feel tremendously vulnerable with it. Well, that’s how I feel with this series. I am grateful to the designers who attend Project Horseshoe who pushed me to show the games to someone and especially to Ian Schreiber and John Sharp who have been listening to me talk about these games for nearly two years now.
I’ll be showing three of the actual games at the Game Education Summit this summer. There’s only one of each, and they are intentionally not-digital. As a note, Train was the game that Rabbi Belzer of Mickve Israel called a work of Torah. It remains the most amazing review I have ever received (including those with awards attached to them).