Prompt 033: Near Future Event
Describe an event in your near future that you are looking forward to. What about this event is so special to you?
Tomorrow is the third day of three for a local arts festival. It's reputed to be the East Coast's largest free arts festival. This is the third year in a row that I've had the chance to exhibit some of my video game projects, along with two other fellow local game developers.
This event is special for me because making my small video game projects is something I enjoy immensely. The event itself is quite special in its own right, being that it's a free event for everyone in the city and beyond to attend. Showing my video games is a special treat, and I doubt that I'd attend unless I was an exhibitor in the first place (not really a social kind of person, plus it's historically the "hottest weekend of the year in [the city where I live]."
Our exhibit's unique approach is that while most of the developers there are in it to become successful software developers - either for a big studio or on their own as "indie" developers - the three of us are strict hobbyists. We do this in our spare time, and have no aspirations to do this for a living. Furthermore, we showcase our games as a way to encourage other "average joes" to try it for themselves. I developed a mini-zine to distribute at our table, and in it are the websites for a bunch of free, downloadable software tools that allow a tinker to create something enjoyable and definitely worth playing within the space of an hour or two.
Whenever kids and their parents stop by, I am sure to go out of my way and give one of these zines to the parents in attendance, and encourage them to check out the tools. If there are young women who are curious about the games we are showing, and they seem to enjoy playing what we have to offer, I make it a point to share the zine with them and encourage them to research the tools to explore their own ideas.
Finally, we also host a "high score contest" for several of our games. It's something about the arts festival that makes it just as much for the attendees as the exhibitors. On the face of it, this is just a way to encourage people to play our games, in an effort to earn some recognition through friendly competition. High score tables are a classic motivational tool to encourage people to play "just one more game." But not only do folks have a chance to earn bragging rights by seeing their name listed up on the board. They feel a little bit more special or accomplished by having their success affirmed in a totally friendly, supportive, no-cost, safe environment.
I'm happy my friends and I decided to take the plunge and apply to be part of the festival, now three years ago. We've grown to three members, with a total of 25 games: each of us dedicated to the mission of spreading curiosity, motivation, and game-making to everyone we meet.