Blogposts about Black Box CPH not weeks but months late, eh better late than never. And a good warm up for Black Box Horsens this friday hopefully I will get all the posts out before that.
Until recently I thought that black box was defined by two main attributes: the facilities, that is: playing in a stage room and using stage techniques like light and sound, and the workshops before hand. Now another equally important aspect is clear to me: experimentation. That the designers use this new format to experiment wildly, but also as important: that the players also expect this and goes to the games with this knowledge and therefore, well maybe not an more open mindset, but with a different mindset. I’m not saying that this is better, it’s just different. (The high demand Fastaval puts on you makes you perform your best, the openness to experimentation at Black Box CPH makes you dare new and at times very strange things.
Like last year I took part in three scenarios, that is apparently what I can handle during a weekend. And like last year I was only a participant in two of them. But unlike last year, where I was audience in one this year I was the organizer in my own and very first black box scenario, Waiting for Flight GO901, but that will get it’s own post.
This years most powerful insight is that black box cph is a place for experimentation, as I have written about above. The organisers proudly claim this, but this year I felt it myself when I ran my own game. I lost all faith in the game the night before for many reasons, one being that I had four players for a game designed with 10 or more in mind.
But my players took this and the two, for me big, experiments in the game in stride. They went at it with remarkable open minds. It was a great feeling and I can’t wait to design for Black Box CPH again. Since this is written after the Larporatory I already have another game ready, and it’s not even the game I designed for the Larporatory. More about that later.
The two other games I played was also strange and experimental in their own way and even though they had their flaws, the players went with it with full energy. It’s truly a great culture that they have built here.
This year was also marked by the opening of the Bastard Cafe, Denmarks first board game cafe. It was cool to finally visit the place and served as a nice hang out between games, although it was a bit strange to have it be full of other people that was not attending Black Box CPH, strange, but not necessarily in a bad way.
The party at the end was good and really hammered in how many new people I have gotten to know in the last year. Where last year I didn’t have that many to talk to, this year I had plenty in large thanks to my trip to Lithuania.
It is really a good community to hang out in and I do it all to little. But soon I get to do it again when we launch Black Box Horsens.