27. Come Out and Play Festival
New York and San Francisco
Transforming cities from concrete jungles into jungle gyms, the Come Out & Play Festival reclaims space through free, public street games. Annual weekend-long events in New York and San Francisco provide forums for new types of play and unusual interaction with fellow urbanites. As game designer and festival co-founder Greg Trefry lamented the “loss of a sense that we can play in public space,” he said the festival can also open up places that might otherwise feel regulated. Games range from dodgeball and large-scale Battleship to “psychogeographic experiments,” and largely attract an under-40, media-savvy crowd. In future, Trefry hopes to host games that encourage more spontaneous drop-in participation, and as always, he wants to bring playfulness back to the public realm.

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