What you have here is a collection of handbuilt ceramic + found object abstract strategy games. Many are expressive variations of world classics – Gummo and Packrat – some are playful interpretations of old and new – Gear Train, Crystals & Corns, and Color Theory – and others are fabulous fusions – Toss It Off and Glyph Con.
All are carefully crafted to be both beautiful sculptures and fully playable games, with emphasis on visual character in action.
Abstract Strategy Games keep it simple. They involve only the playing surface, pieces and players interacting within particular rules of engagement. They have minimal randomness (no dice or cards) and no hidden information, meaning the playing field is open and obvious to all players at all times. The gaming fun revolves around the canniness of each player as they move and respond to each other’s plays. Whether it be skillful or full of foibles, it is the very definition of Games People Play.
I’ve thrown it all down in this body of work and I especially want to thank my Family Think Tank (Cassandra, Grace, John, Mark, Max and Roger) for being such willing and rich resources every step of it, from conceptualization and design, to appearance and testing, to trial play and do-overs.
Let the Games Begin!
This Collection was shown March 2 – March 31, 2018 at the Games People Play Exhibit at Roscoe Ceramic Gallery, 473 25th St. Suite 5, Oakland, CA 94612. Many visitors tried their hands at them, Gummo and Toss It Off were the most played, but I saw lots of takers for Packrat and Gear Train.