May 28, 2019 buttonqueen

Centenntable at Feral-Vector

For years I’ve heard about this show in England that is a sort of refuge of play. The pictures always seem to be an interesting blend of nature and video games, a stage surrounded by pews and wilderness walks. This year I was so pleased to be able to make the trip to Hebden Bridge, to show the travel board and to give a short talk on installation games.

There’s something to be said for Feral Vector, an event I would hesitate to call precious, only because such an association would make it sound like trite or silly. In truth, the event was revelatory and chill, reminding me of growing up in a small hippie town where people grew up to be folkists, your friends parents were blacksmiths and where play was encouraged. I forgot, in some respects, that events could be like this one.

I was so pleased to have my game shown at Feral Vector in part because of this environment but also because it is so drastically different from other shows I have done. The weekend before found me at Anime Central in Chicago, an event I also love but one where about 40,000 people run through. At Feral Vector, there’s a tight, near family like consistency of the show — perhaps it is no accident that the organizers are called a Feral Sett, where sett is a term that can mean the home of a badger.

Before my talk, which is hopefully going to be available soon for sharing, a very polite person who took the form of a town crier but with a bell, asked me my pronouns with the kind of direct, no-judgement tone that informed me that it would be no issue what I answered. While this is how it should be, it is not always, and I’ve had very few shows even bother asking.

If there is any failure to be found with Feral Vector it is that I was too tired and too ill to enjoy all of its options, like LARPs from Xalavier Nelson and fantastic talks about things that I didn’t always understand but always appreciated. The show actually ended with one of my favorite post-event events: a live wrestling event.

No seriously there was a live wrestling event.

I don’t know if I’ll make my way across the pond again, but I certainly hope that you find your way there some day. I think everyone should make their way to Feral Vector at least once.

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