Games at the farmers market

Check out this group of Boston-area game developers showing and selling their wares at a local street fair:

I love it. Note especially the line from Chris, “People are genuinely shocked.”

When you make a game for your conference booth, that’s the reaction you’re getting.

Honestly, we have no idea if the games those fine Boston folks are selling are any good. I’m guessing they are, but just seeing them presented in that context is a treat. Imagine walking down the row of stalls…

“Produce… check.

Bread… check.

Duck eggs… check.

Jam… check.

More jam… check.

More eggs… check.

Video games??? A-WHAA???”

Of course you’re going to stop in that booth! Who brings video games to a street market? I want to know who they are!

I’ve seen this happen at academic conferences, coffee expos, schools, and museums. The shock factor of bringing a game to somewhere unexpected is very very real. There’s value in zigging when everyone else is zagging.

Of course, you can’t zig too far. Those signs in the pic say “locally made.” They’re not showing the latest mega-blockbuster from California. They’re using a different mode (videogames vs food or handicrafts) but they’re still on theme.

But if you’re already going to a place where your audience is, then you’re probably not at risk of straying off course. If you’ve got a booth lined up, your people are gonna be walking by. Think about the dozens of similar things they’ve seen and are going to see in the next hour or day or weekend. Then think about giving them something different - whatever that may be.