Board Gaming at BADcamp

While having lunch with both old and new friends on Saturday, the discussion turned to board games and a few of us decided to hold an impromptu game night, to be hosted where I was staying (an AirBnB location with plenty of space). adellefrank went out and purchased a few board games for us to play, and we had so much fun playing Pandemic that we decided to play it on Sunday night as well!

As the night wore on the blue disease became "Drupal flu", black was Wordpress (which exploded and killed us at least once) and yellow was Joomla, leaving red as "Project Realtime" (a reference from Chris Shattuck's camp keynote). After losing three games straight (and having convinced the newer players that yesterday's first-game win was a major fluke), we started brainstorming how to Drupalize Pandemic, since we hadn't gotten around to playing Breaking Head.


1.x-beta1 by adellefrank, akalata, effulgentsia

Our first pass at converting this game, focused on translating game terms into their Drupal equivalents. I may need some corrections to my terminology since I don't actually own a copy of the game!

Pandemic Concept Drupal
Key Terms
Disease blocks what's being fought Scope creep
Cities where the fight is happening Issue queues
Colors diseases to be cured Initiatives
Outbreak what's being fought starts spreading into surrounding areas Bikeshed
Epidemic chance of danger springing up from things we thought we had settled Security Announcement
Research station aids in defeting what is being fought Issue Summary
Event Cards
These probably won't match up one-to-one (yet), this was the last thing we discussed
One Quiet Night No new blocks added for a turn d.o down
Airlift Player moved to a location Sprints/Camps/Cons
Resilient Population Removes possiblity for new blocks to be placed in a location [Policy, no patch] Issues
Forecast Ability to plan which infection cards are coming up next [META] Issues
Government Grant Build a research station anywhere Sprints
Player Roles
Operations Manager increases team effeciency Issue Mover
Scientist able to solve issues more easily Component Maintainer
Dispatcher directs tasks Initiative Lead
Researcher knowledge sharer Core Mentor
Quarantine Specialist gatekeeper Core Cmmmitter
Contingency Expert re-using what works Event Organizer
Medic removes blocks more efficiently ?

Note the lack of a Drupal community role for the Medic. We had some difficulty coming up with an analog for this role, and have come to the conclusion that this role does not exist yet. As I put it that night, "there's no one running around sprinkling magic fairy dust" with the authority to to negate scope creep. Which begs the question, does the project need a new role, sort of a "triage expert" -- or are all of us responsible for this?

Wrap Up

While it's become standard for camps and conferences to have one (or more!) official parties, often at bars, not everyone can/will attend. If you've never been, for events of 100+ people the after-parties are often crowded, noisy, hot, and dark. I read a great blog post on this back in August, but I sadly cannot find the link (though I did find Alternatives for After-Parties at Conferences from 2012, which raises many of the same points in the other post I'm remembering).

A quick recap of reasons why an attendee might not come to a party, despite the promise of free booze and appetizers. He or she may be:

  • Underage
  • A recovering alcoholic
  • Pregnant
  • Hard of hearing or have other sensory disorders
  • Claustrophobic
  • Agoraphobic or have other social anxiety disorders
  • A member of a religous order that prohibits the consumption of alcohol, or even being in a place where such an activity is being openly performed

Just because somebody doesn't want to go out to this sort of event doesn't necessarily mean that they don't want to socialize with other attendees -- just that this sort of party isn't an appropriate location, whatever the reason (and really, the reason doesn't matter).

I know that "board game nights" and other social gatherings are successfully organized at many events and conferences -- this is neither a new idea, nor is it a complaint about the organization of BADcamp. However, I think it can be a great alternative to drinking-focused social activities, which is why I've volunteered to organize a Board Game Night and/or other party alternatives for MidCamp 2015.