Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Construction: Saturday Night at the Zoo

As Saturday night's social activity, most of the members of the convention gathered to play If I Ran the Zoo...Con, the simulation game of bidding, planning, and running a Worldcon first used at SMOFCon 3 and published by NESFA Press. Although it was written twenty years ago and therefore has some elements that have dated a bit, it remains a fun game for a large group of people with an interest in convention-running to work through the challenges and trade-offs inherent in such a large, complex undertaking.

Here I am as The Secret Master of Fandom (host), reading a scenario to the audience, while David W. Clark, serving as "Murphy" (the dispenser of random chance), contemplates what long-forgotten decisions will come back to haunt the next team. (My thanks to Crickett Fox for taking the photo.)

As is usual, we had difficulty getting this game started on time, and we therefore did not get to play enough scenarios to get the full impact of how decisions made early can have consequences later. It is a little slow to start, because most people hate social mixers. I'm only sorry that some of the people who came for the SFSFC Board meeting did not stick around for the social after, even some who had ConStruction memberships. As I said, people who have not seen the game may think it's one of those contrived socials where you're forced to do silly things. I don't think this game does that. Mainly your teams just discuss decisions. Once we get started, most people start getting into the spirit of it and enjoying themselves.

I had a great time hosting the game, as I always have in the past, and I think ConStruction for asking me again to run it this year. But now it's nearly 1 AM and I am just dead on my feet and must get some sleep. Now I'm really glad that I didn't commute to the convention, as there would have been a good chance of me falling asleep at the wheel driving home to Fremont.
Tags: construction

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