i was delighted to be invited to take part in the WordPlay festival this past weekend, which celebrated the intersection of video games and literature.
The afternoon-long festival was held at the Toronto Reference Library, and was organized by Jim Munroe of the Hand Eye Society. Of course, i was there repping Spellirium, Untold’s “comedy trashpunk adventure game” in full game-promoting regalia.
Photo by Stephen Reese. Conjuctivitis by Poofingers McEyeballpoker.
My Spellirium shill get-up is meant to be vaguely reminiscent of the game’s Vendor character, who you don’t actually meet until you’re a solid hour and a half into it, so connection is lost on most people.
Also lost on most people (thankfully) was the fact that i had been sick as balls all week, and barely managed to drag myself with one arm up the street to the library. i slumped home after the festival to continue hallucinating and writhing around on my bed in a cold sweat with an increasingly alarming case of pinkeye.
Yours truly, a mere four hours later. Ask me about Spellirium.
Word Nerds: Assemble
i’ve been telling myself for many years that while Spellirium may not be everyone’s cup of tea, those who like it will drain the cup to its dregs. My theory bore out at PAX Prime this past summer, and again at the Wordplay festival as eager players sat down and were immediately engrossed by the game’s storytelling, humour, and leisurely-paced gameplay. i wasn’t exactly riding a stopwatch, but i would estimate that the average play time throughout the afternoon was a very impressive 30 minutes (!)
Spellirium favours no age. This kid rocked the game harder than most adult players.
It was delightful to be in a room where games like the interactive fiction title Lost Pig were being showcased, and where story-based games like Kentucky Route Zero were inexplicably being played on the Oculus Rift (we gave it a shot with Spellirium, but it didn’t pan out). i actually got into conversations with people about Twine, Inform7, Andrew Plotkin, and my recent purchase of a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad so that i could play IF games.
Birds of a feather flock together, and it was wonderful to have a place for us to flock. i hope we see more events like WordPlay in the future.