From the Freeplay Board – Anna Burkey

Welcome to this series of blog posts by the board members of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival. Newest board member and arts aficionado Anna Burkey tells us about her relationship with games, as well as the very first game she ever designed. (Hint: I’d eat it.)

I have always loved games: board games, arcades, consoles, PC games – I’ve never particularly drawn distinctions. What I’m looking for is the puzzle, and if I’m honest, the competition, but I had never much considered that they could change my way of thinking about the world, or how important they are to our social cultures.

I even made up my own arcade game in the school playground, two of us drawing out the devilishly challenging journey as a piece of fruit made its way through a primary-coloured world, beset by Satanic banana peels. I’m not sure it would have been much of a hit.

I lost my way with games for a while, as they came to mean endless rounds of Monopoly, or bland first-person shooters. Thanks to friends in Edinburgh, I rediscovered tabletop gaming, and was gleefully overwhelmed at All The Games and the many different worlds they could portray.

I’d heard great things of Freeplay from overseas, and felt like maybe there was a space that would be able to show me more of these worlds, and a friendly, open community that would help me find my way back in. My first Freeplay, just last year, did not disappoint, and I’ve been exploring the independent games scene in Australia ever since.

This year’s program is just as exciting to me, and over the next week I’m looking forward to listening and discussing how we make interesting games, and use them to tell new stories. You’ve bought your ticket already, right? Then I’ll see you there. Let’s talk.