The Steel City Games Fest

Published On July 25, 2011 | By Kymbo Slice | Community
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If you think about it, we all play games. Whether they come in card form, on boards, with balls or bats, or a variety of other structures, games are all around us. Most of the time, games involve more than one person, which is why the Steel City Games Fest and Pittsburgh-based Obscure Games need your help with their latest endeavor, a Kickstarter project to fund 2011’s SCGFII.

The Steel City Games Fest is a 24-hour festival of new and original street games, sports, and other physical games. Last year’s event had roughly 150 participants, and they’re looking to double the number this year. In order to do that, they need our help. Kickstarter is a great way to raise money, if you aren’t familiar already. The service crowd-sources funding for creative projects, ranging from music to film to festivals. Project creators reward backers with physical rewards instead of promises of returns on investment, and uses a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. What I find to be particularly neat about this Kickstarter project is the result is engaging. If this project is funded, anyone who pledged has the opportunity to attend the event, free of charge, and say they had a hand in making it happen. Other than the great incentives put together by the project, I can see no better reward than that.

Obscure Games has been operating around town for a few years now, and hosts weekly events which can be found on their website. A great, healthy way to get out of the house and spend some leisurely time, Obscure Games have had the opportunity to take their operation to New York’s Come Out and Play, a national gaming event executed in the vein of Bristol’s IgFest and Berlin’s You are GO. Many of the games are created by the organization itself in an effort to “focus on interpersonal interaction and out-of-the-box thinking via a unique collaborative process. We play never-before-seen games that challenge participants in new ways and require creativity, teamwork, and innovative thinking. Obscure Games works with children and adults, recognizing that play deeply enriches lives at any age.” –Obscuregames.org

This year’s Steel City Games Fest will debut 24 new games in 24 hours. Games include The Signal – an all-night chase played out on the streets and over the radio; the award-winning Silverball – human-sized pinball played on a hill; and table top and parlor games like Revolucion! – a government-toppling version of Monopoly.

The campaign ends August 4th and includes a variety of incentives for backers to enjoy, such as hilarious graphic t-shirts by designer Steph Bercht, festival posters and the unique plus-one system, featured in Jane McGonigal’s excellent book Reality is Broken. Hop on over to PlusOneMe.com to read more about the concept, and don’t forget to donate!

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