Last night Dave, Kaushal, Yao and I went to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) next to St James Park to play some games with the “Sandpit” team. Not having attended one of these events before I had no idea what to expect and no clue as to which games to pick. We agreed on “Visible Cities” and “Sangre y Patatas”, got a drink and watched another group play The Agency.


Yao, a creator of one of the past games himself, explained that the Sandpit events are often used to test out new game ideas and get feedback on how they can be improved ready for “The Big Weekend”.

Sandpit is primarily for adults and a great way to have fun, relax and network. Older children would be able to take part in most of the games, younger children may find some of the games a bit of a challenge mentally.

Our first game was Visible Cities and was played around the park.

I’m glad I’ve got a Lowepro camera bag with waist strap and an R-Strap for the camera. Running around the park with the camera gear, at times at full tilt, was no problem at all and made me think how some might find it useful on certain types of photo assignment. The tarp’ fasteners came in handy yet again, holding my jacket to the camera bag keeping my hands free to hold the map and camera. If you’re into photography and carry more than just the camera I highly recommend you get some as they’re so inexpensive.

And added bonus for Yao was bumping into an old flat mate he’d not seen for years.

The game of Sangre y Patatas was very simple but great great fun. A group of people “in the dark” (eyes closed or blindfolded) have to move around and say Patatas to each other when they make contact. A monster player is picked at random at the start and says Sangre instead at which the Patatas must act out their death throws. The best deaths get the players into the next round and the game is played again until the monster and a Patata are left. The monster then has 30 seconds to catch the Patata or looses the game. We were told that the game originates from the Theater, were it’s still played a lot by cast and crew.

A great alternative night out!  The events themselves are free, you just pay for any drink or food you want from the venue. Games have limited spaces so if this sounds like something you want to join in with make sure you turn up early!

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