w i d e o p e n s p a c e

Edit 10th May: Scroll down to the comments to see links to documentation of the event.

w i d e o p e n s p a c e brought to you by BARG Saturday May 9th, 2pm – 7ish suggested donation: £3 per player

w i d e o p e n s p a c e is an afternoon of fun, games and picnics around the Curzon Street area of Birmingham. Come and explore the terrain and its possibilities with us. All are welcome although we ask that parents bringing children keep an especially close watch on them. We’re asking people to make a donation of at least £3 each to help fund future BARG events.

Sign up at http://is.gd/vqYz to let us know if you’re planning to join us.
A .pdf of this information is available for download here.


Here are the games we’re planning to run. (But there will also be plenty of opportunities for you to invent your own!)

Hat Snap

(variant of a game designed by Krzysiek “Semp” Bielecki)
The first game runs between 2pm and 3pm, with sign-up in the Bullring shopping centre at the cube seats near Baguette du Monde and Café Rouge (the open-air bit between New Street and Saint Martin’s Square, [1] on the map, see below) between 2 and 2:20.

You will need to bring a digital camera or a camera phone and it will be to your advantage to not be carrying too much other stuff. If you’ve brought a big delicious picnic with you, you might want to sign up at the front of Curzon Street Station ([2] on the map) and leave your baggages with our stewards.

Players will rendezvous at the Curzon Street Station building at 2:40 to tally up the points and determine the winner ([2] on the map). Full instructions will be given to you when you sign up; it’s up to you to decide on your strategy…

The Lost Sport

(rediscovered by Jane McGonigal and Kiyash Monsef)
The Lost Sport of Olympia is believed to be a 2500-year-old game invented, and ultimately banned, by the Ancient Greeks.

At 3pm we will move to the Curzon Street car park (probably the bit at the back, between the skaters and the railway lines, [3] on the map) for a team game with no opposing team: listen carefully as your team-mates guide you around a labyrinth. Make sure you’re wearing shoes you can run in.


(designed by you!)
Not a game, but still very enjoyable!

Bring some food and join us on the grass area in front of the station building between about 5 and 6 for a leisurely picnic ([4] on the map). Sharing of food and ideas encouraged!

Bocce Drift, Croquet and GPS Sketches

Grab a few friends and have play with these things that will be available after the carpark bit. The rules for Bocce Drift (designed by David Jimison and Jeff Crouse) are here: http://ludocity.org/wiki/Bocce_Drift and we encourage you to invent your own rules for croquet (bear in mind it’s a borrowed set though – please don’t damage it). As an additional challenge, we’re asking for people to bring along random (non-valuable/non-dangerous) spherical objects for some further games improvisation.

2 iPAQs will be available for you to use to record your movements around the area: what pictures can you make? After the event we’ll convert everyone’s tracks to a Google Earth file so we can see what people drew. (You’ll need to leave your credit card or driving licence as a deposit for the iPAQ.)

Human Snake

(designed by Minkette)
You’ve seen the game played on mobile phones, now it’s time to play it in real life. Conga around between 6:30 and 7 to collect the fruit before the other team gets it first.

The Weather

A game of chance.

In the event of bad weather, w i d e o p e n s p a c e will be cancelled. We will announce the final decision on whether it will go ahead or not by 11am on Saturday the 9th of May. The announcement will be made via http://twitter.com/pindec, http://twitter.com/genzaichi, here and http://bargbarg.ning.com/events/w-i-d-e-o-p-e-n-s-p-a-c-e so please be sure to check if the weather looks a bit dodgy.

In the event of good weather, please make sure you bring the appropriate hat/cream/parasol to stop yourself getting sunburnt – there’s not a lot of shade available around Curzon Street.

The Map

(Click to embiggen.)
wide open spaces

The Small Print

w i d e o p e n s p a c e is an exercise in exploring a part of the city that is currently something of a wasteground. We’ll be playing in unloved areas that may be littered with things like rubble and broken glass, so if you’re joining us we ask that you dress appropriately and be especially careful of your safety at all times. Play at your own risk, etc etc, but have fun and spare some time to look at the cityscape in a new way.

BARG is a Birmingham-based network for playful people who like to make and/or play interesting games.