RecessTO

Recess forced indoors and Toronto nerds rejoice

As a bit of a nerdy kid, I always had mixed emotions when I heard that recess would be canceled due to bad weather. Staying inside usually sucked, but it meant I could play pen and paper games with my nerdy friends. This weekend, at Gamercamp, playing and talking about video games and board games was pretty much all anyone did. So recess.to's big Sunday event, full of running around and playing outside was much anticipated. Until it rained. In elementary school, we would have said that recess was canceled. But thank to quick thinking from recess.to's David Fono, we ran around the halls of George Brown College instead.

Recess.to is a monthly meet up group dedicated to playing with elements of the real world. What does a game look like that uses sidewalk blocks? What does a game look like that uses the city's architecture? The games they play are often adult styled updates of games played in elementary schoolyards.

Being stuck inside didn't deter recess.to. Armed with walkie-talkies, and nerf guns, players stormed around a confused convention, in a few spirited rounds of 'The day of the thing' a game out of London. Players were attempting to co-ordinate a scavenger hunt against a time limit, while having to deal with body-snatching aliens that were trying to destroy the scavenger hunt targets, and slowly replace the players with alien copies.

The whole game was meant to evoke the desperation and paranoia of the classic sci-fi film, 'the thing', and it did the job fantastically. I was never sure who was and wasn't a shape changing alien ready to destroy my teams hard word, or convert me to their malevolent collective.

Afterwards, a game from Amsterdam, 'regulator relay' was attempted. The rules must not have translated well, because no one could really figure out how the game was supposed to work. Luckily, recess.to was being run at Gamercamp, with most of the attendees being game developers. The game was quickly patched up and soon players were tromping around the halls again.

As a child recess was always the best in winter, but getting adults out in the cold is a hard job. Recess is taking December off, but is planning to start back up in January, snow and all.

Writing by Peter MacDonald. Photo by Trevor Haldenby on the Recess.to Facebook page.


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