PCAG: New York
The Perplex City Academy Games were not just a phenomenon in London. A few weeks ago, there was an equally entertaining event on the other side of the Pacific in New York City. Lucky for us, we have a first-hand account of what transpired at the event from UnFiction community member (and active PXC player) Scott Myers. Here’s what he had to say:
We played 3 Gambits of a perplexian scissor-paper-rock game called Roundabout. This was quite silly, but set everyone in a jolly mood, and got people up out of their chairs and talking and laughing and having fun.
Next game: Set. Getting down to the business of eliminating amateurs, this card game is at once simple and complex. Unsurprisingly, it (and all other games played) is available for purchase from Firebox.
8 semi-finalists played a 3d tic tac toe game, called qbiczu. This is probably one of the most perplex-city-ish non-perplex-city games played: Spheres aligning inside a cube. Through two rounds, 8 players were whittled down to 4. The lucky 4 were then put to a game of Batik, an interesting game of shape building. If your shape builds too high, you lose.
At last, with excitement building, two finalists went to a game of Clash. As most Perplex City followers will know, Clash is a very common sport in the normal PCAG tournaments. It is worth noting here that this was a major plot point. Here we see, live and first hand, what the puzzle cards are most representative of for Perplexians. They aren’t simply a happy way of conveying a cry for help, the puzzle cards are actually a key element of PCAG tournaments, and thus of the whole society.
We were given a sneak preview of some third and fourth wave cards. Most were incomplete cards-in-progress. Interestingly, key elements such as the large corner letters were not present. We can only guess if the puzzles viewed will actually become final cards, and how much rethinking will go into them.
The big winner was Gabriel C., a really swell guy who had barely played much (I gave him his very first cards earlier that evening). The Grand Prize was 300 Perplex Points and a swanky glass cube. Second prize, awarded to Stephen, another completely new player, was 200 perplex points. And I think they both got starter kits.
But the big excitement for all was definitely the cellphone message. While essentially an advert for the London event, it hinted at something a bit more sinister. “You keep on searching, but you don’t know what you’re looking for or what’s looking for you. I can help. I have some inside information about the Third Power. Tell your people to stay sharp in London, and they’ll come away with more than just a trophy.” To say the least, it leaves a lot of questions. Is this just another setup? Or was it for real? Who is that voice, and where are they calling from?
After it was all said and done, swag was handed out: 1 or 2 packs of cards, a magazine, an event T-shirt, tour guides, and all the games played that evening (set, qbiczu, batik, and some other mingle-games set out earlier.)
Also, there were hints dropped about such things as puzzle cards being available in as many as 100 stores in North America, and Wave 3 cards being out as soon as March. Mind Candy has been picked up (by) Gamus Distributors, who are a really great company and seem to really get the spirit of the game.
Our gracious hosts at Mind Candy were absolutely terrific in every way. One couldn’t have hoped for a better party. Mad Love — or whatever the kids say — to Michael, Andrea, Fiona, and Paul. They are a wonderful set of human beings, and I’m not just saying that because) they bought us drinks. No amount of thanks is enough for the great time they gave us.
Scott Myers, Earth
Thanks so much for that in-depth look into the event, Scott. Which Earth city will be the next to host a PCAG event? Hopefully Mind Candy will make an announcement soon.