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Hugo House Annual Inquiry: Games

There will be few (if any) posts this week, because I am working on a side project: the Hugo House Annual Inquiry. But if you are a Seattlelite (or will be in town next weekend), read on -- this may be something you'll be interested in attending.

Hugo House is a Seattle-based non-profit somethingorother that focuses on literacy and the arts. Every year H.H. hosts a big event called a "Cultural Inquiry," where they pick a theme and host a number of activities and installations related to that theme. Two years ago the theme was Maps; last year the theme was Surveillance. This year, the Annual Inquiry is all about Games. As it turns about, a couple of the folks over at H.H. read the yeti and know about my fondness for games and hornswoggled talked me into participating.

There's a lot of really great stuff going on (check out the schedule), but here are the pies that I have a thumb in:

  • Friday, 10:00-11:30 pm -- A Guide To Visitors Story Slam: I am a frequent participant in A Guide To Visitor's storytelling shows. The theme of this evening's tales will be "Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave: the way we use others as pawns and the mind games we play on each other." I helped arrange this, and there's a fair chance I will also tell a story.

  • Saturday, 2:30-3:30 pm -- "Break The Safe" Tournament: Local game company Forrest-Puzan Creative will be showcasing a new game they designed by throwing a "Break The Safe Tournament." Break The Safe is a very-cool cooperative boardgame where the players work as team, finding keys, disarming booby-traps and evading guard dogs. (More details on the game here.) The winning team will win an seminar on the art of locksmithing sponsored by Broadway Locksmiths, which is so cool that I wish I wasn't disqualified from winning (although I'll probably try to finangle myself into that seminar just for helping put this thing together). The tournament will include a tutorial on the game, so even if you've never heard of it you are still encouraged to participate. If you're interested in joining, assemble a team of four and register by either emailing tournament@forrest-pruzan.com or calling Wendee (206-547-7155 ext. 106). (Please note the caveat mentioned below, though.)
  • Saturday, 10:30-midnight: Late Night Lying Game and Gamenight: Come watch me sit in front of a crowd of people and lie my fool head off. Afterward I will be participating in the Hugo House's casual gamenight. And by "participating in" I mean "drinking".

  • Sunday, October 5th, 10:30 am -- Treasure Hunt: I'll be hosting a Treasure Hunt similar to those I hold for my friends every year. (See this as an example.) I'll have a semi-official page up for this later today or tomorrow. The hunt will be run in teams of three or four and should take around 90 minutes. If you want to participate, I'm asking that you let me know in advance (Again, see the caveat).
The Caveat: To participate in any of above events (including the Break The Safe Tournament and the Treasure Hunt), you have to pay that day's admission. That the bad news. (Well, it's not really "bad," since all the $$ goes to a good cause -- namely, Hugo House.) The good news is that once you pay the admission, you get access to all of the events that are held during that time frame. And, like I mentioned before, there's a lot of good stuff going on. Sherman Alexie will be talking about "Dungeons and Dragons" (seriously), James Ernest (the guy who is Cheapass Games) will be there giving game design seminars and talking about high-stakes poker, there will be a couple of panel discussions about video games and society ... it's gonna be cool.

You can get ticket information over on this page. Hope you can make it!

Posted on September 29, 2003 to Games


I have never, ever wanted to live in your part of the world (I am too fond of the sun to do without it), but maaaaaaaaaan... This sounds like almost enough of a reason to move.

It sounds fabulous -- have a ball! :)

Posted by: Stacey on September 29, 2003 12:49 PM

Oh, by the way, the squirrely already looks quite handsome and well put together. Mazel Tov!

Posted by: Stacey (again) on September 29, 2003 12:50 PM

Insanely jealous of all of it: seattle, the HH Games event, project squirrely...Matthew Baldwin lives the good life.

Posted by: Ariel on September 29, 2003 2:49 PM

I think you might have meant to say if instead of in for the first sentence in this post. And if I had the time or lived closer to seattle I would go to that Hugo House thing.

Posted by: Jason on September 29, 2003 5:21 PM

Yay for the Hugo House Annual Inquiry! I participated in the Maps year (much in the same way that you describe "participating") and found all of it very inspirational. Drunk inspirational, but you know what I mean. HH is a really wonderful organization, for some reason they allowed me to be a writing mentor for elementary school kids. The Games subject sounds really wonderful, I'm sorry I'm missing it. Have fun.

Posted by: karen on September 29, 2003 7:05 PM

And don't forget you and me are gonna do a public demo game of Dungeons and Dragons with Oliver on sunday. Better make your saving throw against butt-kickedness cuz I'm gonna magic-missile ya back to the stone age.

Posted by: Ray on September 29, 2003 8:18 PM

Insanely cool. I am most jealous and have spread the news to one of the other Seattle-based gamers I know who doesn't habitually follow the Yeti. Please tell us all lots and lots about it once the event is over...

Posted by: Chris M. Dickson on September 30, 2003 5:00 AM

Anyone remember Hugo's House Of Horrors, those old EGA games for 286/386 computers? I used to play those when I was younger. I don't know if this is in any way related...

Posted by: Kunal on September 30, 2003 8:41 PM

Matt, if you make it to Alexie's talk, let me know. I'm fascinated as to what the author of Tonto and the Lone Ranger Fistfight in Heaven has to say about D&D.

First Chabon writes the Spiderman 2 script, then Alexie on D&D... Eventually we're going to get Arundhati Roy on who would win a fight between Superman and Voltron, aren't we?

Posted by: Steve on October 2, 2003 8:11 PM

The treasure hunt was fun (...to the max!). It was hard to get everybody out of bed at the crack of 10:30, but worth it. Thanks again, also very nice to finally meet you. Plus free candy.

Posted by: Hildago on October 5, 2003 1:51 PM