Microscope floods GPNW, citizens seek high ground
My original plan for GoPlayNW 2009 went something like this: “hmm, I guess I’ll schedule a session of Microscope for Friday night in case anyone wants to try it out. Once that’s out of the way I suppose for the rest of the con I’ll just roam around and try out some new games.”*
Oh, foolish youth! Because I only had three sign-ups for the slot I put up in advance, I was entirely clueless about the number of people interested in Microscope. By the time the dust settled there were five separate sessions of Microscope, with 17 new people jumping in and trying it out. Holy crap!
Ping deserves lots of the credit since she facilitated two of the five slots. By the end of Saturday we were neck-and-neck with two slots each, but I pulled ahead Sunday with a third slot for the win (victory is mine!).
I know what you’re thinking: you played Microscope every day at the con? Isn’t that a little much? Oh my god no. It was pretty fantastic actually. I followed my personal rule of letting the new players pick the starting premise and once again I was surprised at ideas I wouldn’t have thought of but which turned out great. Like the very first session of the con: religion drives settlers to the new world (think European colonization of the Americas) to forget the old gods, except the natives of the new world are primitive but intelligent tool-using animals…
Would I come up with that game idea? Not in a million years. But was it fantastic as a Microscope game? Oh yes. Same goes for the shrunken city hurtling through the cosmos after its world is destroyed (a la Krypton/Kandor), and the ancient continent spanning mega-city of Lemuria. It’s one of the things I really like about Microscope: you’re making it, but it’s surprising you at the same time.
Oh, and one other interesting data point: I gamed all weekend, but I never rolled a single die. Seriously.
* like some fantastic Saturday night jeepform mania. More on that later.