Go Play NW is now an irrevocable part of my event schedule in the years to come.
Any fears I had of the dreaded “indie hipsterism” that can sometimes infect other niche creative groups was quickly banished upon contact with my peers. I say peers, because that’s how they seemed almost immediately. From my first dinner table discussion of game theory in the Campion ballroom to my last at Luna Park Cafe, I knew I was one amongst equals.
The amount of creativity on display was a bit staggering. It can be so difficult during one’s gaming career to find likeminded individuals to journey with; having so many in one place was an exercise in abundance. It left me with the question: do I recruit or be recruited? Maybe it’ll be both.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I experienced at Go Play NW 2014:
I started by getting in touch with my inner Lasers & Feelings, a single page game that was so excellent that I ran a session directly after having played in my first. It took less than two hours to break my vow to only play games for weekend.
Avatar World is a “hack” of Apocalypse World, based around one of my all-time favorite anythings, Avatar: The Last Airbender. I was super excited to jump into this and my time as a Kyoshi Warrior did not disappoint. The people I met playing this remained boon companions throughout the weekend.
I have no link for roguish, only my fond memories. This player-drawn, procedurally generated dungeon crawler was exactly the sort of new experience I was hoping for. It allowed a joke from the Avatar World session to blossom into a terrifying menace of the depths below.
I broke my vow a second time to run a session of Dread, my go-to pickup game for conventions. The players gave me a theme and five minutes to create an adventure worthy of them. What unfolded was a tale of victorian era class warfare during a pneumatic journey to the moon!
I finished my wonderful weekend as Psych-cus, the mentally mighty ficus plant during a brief Refuge In Audacity. It was an epically relaxing way to end the convention, rolling dice and attaining INFINITY GODHOOD with a full table of my peers. I paid a meager $10 dollars for the experience and got the rulebook for free.
Between all these superlative experiences I had several fine meals and many excellent conversations. While Pride weekend carried on a few blocks away, I in turn reveled in my own sense of pride. Proud to be a member of such a fantastic community.