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Fresh Air, 2013 – some photos!

Phew! What a big weekend Fresh Air was! We ran 18 large games, a myriad of smaller games, we had 4 Constructive Play events and a number of playful companies came along to run their own games too. We played with hundreds of people and had a blast!

We saved cities from burning, cracked a safe and sold the loot, had pirate raids and uncivil wars, we made trailers for movies that are yet to be made and took tours of Federation Square, Pop Up Playground style. We made offerings to bovine gods, fed oscine families, made Barbies fly and swim, we made super heroes of ordinary people and illuminated lonely corners of Fed Square.

We’re still sorting through photos, but we thought we’d upload some now for your viewing pleasure! These weren’t all the games on offer, just a couple of photos of gameplay and fun.

We’d like to thank and double thank all the people who helped us run the festival – the game runners, volunteers, game designers and other playful peeps who turned up to help as well as the national and international companies how let us run their games and of course, all the awesome people who turned up to play!

Fresh Air Festival: BEST FUN EVER! (Sometime Melbourne review)

Fresh Air Festival
Pop Up Players, Federation Square
8 February 2013
The Edge, Federation Square
to 10 February
Saturday and Sunday: 1.00–4.00 and 6.00–9.00
Facebook page


All weekend, the totally wonderful and gorgeous Pop Up Players (who created This is a Door) invite everyone to play at the Fresh Air Festival: the International Festival of street games and constructive play.

It started tonight and runs through to Sunday. And it’s all FREE.Read More

Playing in Public With Pop Up Playground (Wired interview)

Playing in Public With Pop Up Playground

By Daniel Donahoo

Playing with my kids is probably the finest thing I get to do with my life. From boardgames to roleplaying through to wrestling the youngest on the bed and wandering through Minecraft servers with the older boys. I love to play (what GeekDad doesn’t?). Importantly, GeekDads know that play need not be something that stops at childhood. In Melbourne, Australia, there is an organization interested in helping all adults re-engage with play.Read More

Fresh Air Festival (Concrete Playground article)

Fresh Air Festival
When: Friday, 8 February – Sunday, 10 February
Where: Federation Square, Cnr Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne VIC 3000
How much: FREE

Whether it’s being part of a crowd rooting for a football team, an audience laughing in unison at a comedian’s jokes, or maybe flashmobbing a train station, there’s something special about communal experience. Pop Up Playground’s Fresh Air Festival is all about bringing strangers together through fun, games, and complicity.

A series of activities will take place around Federation Square this weekend, all based around the theme of interaction and improvisation. Some are as simple as a tent where an artwork that has been left for a lucky stranger — on the condition that they make something for the next person to come along and discover. Then there are enormous, communal games that might have you carrying out secret missions, putting out fires, or even escaping a curse.

Fresh Air Fest is an anarchic, hilarious, and inclusive festival of pervasive games — you’re guaranteed to leave with a new friend.

Original article here:

Drawing Room: Generational games (Radio National interview)

The podcast for our Artistic Director Robert Reid’s interview on Radio National is now online for your listening pleasure. It also features comedian Dave O’Neil talking about the playful (and slighty unsafe) things he used to do in the name of ‘play’ as a child…

Fresh Air Schedule

Fresh Air offers you a range of awesome things to do.

  • There are big games going on all around Fed Square usually starting a new one every hour.
  • There are little games going on the stage of The Edge and you can go down and play them when ever you like.
  • In the foyer of the Edge we have set up a bunch of Constructive Play activities and you can use them to make whatever you like.
  • If you’ve got kids with you we’ve got kids games running down on River Terrace all afternoon.
  • There’s also a couple of ambient games which start at HQ but might take you all over Fed square, that you can do on your own or in groups and go at your own pace.

Schedule:Read More

Playtest 4 for Fresh Air

Sunday the 20th was our last playtest for Fresh Air 2013 games. As a good warm up, we started off with a game of Turtle Wushu from Invisible Playground, but in our case it was Dinosaur Wushu owing to the fact we only have toy dinosaurs. We discovered that toy dinosaurs are way more unstable than toy turtles, at least that’s what we claim.

Next up was our brand new game Tourist Attractors, in which several tour guides take players around Fed Square and make up increasingly bizarre stories to attempt to capture and hold the tourist’s interest.

All through out the day Melbourne company No Show was trialing Outside Line, a tense single person experience which is like nothing else we have at Fresh Air.

Next we playtested The Host, where our players are trapped on a colony on Mars which has been infiltrated by one or more alien. Can they find enough evidence to figure out who it is?

And to round out the day we had another playtest of our slightly-reworked Bury Yer Treasure, where pirates pillage from each other and battle it out on the high seas for loot n’ sailors.

Remember, Fresh Air is on the 8, 9 and 10 of Feb at Federation Square in Melbourne. The whole event is free, so come down and play all of these games and more!

Playtest 3 for Fresh Air

We spent the weekend playtesting the last of the games for Fresh Air, we played so many we thought it was best to split the post into two. So Saturday we took loads of boxes and interesting props to Federation Square to try some games out.

First up was Holy Cow, Sacred Udder by Team Hat (UK) where teams of farm animals attempt to fill their udders with the most sacred liquid to avoid the slaughterhouse.

Next we played Gobstopper Job by Zombie LARP (UK), a great cops and robbers game for two teams of conniving thieves.

Then we trialled out Guardians of Hidden Universes by Universe Creation 101 (AUS) which is a single player experience which encourages you to look at the world in a different way, via a web-based phone app.

Last up before lunch we tested out Feed Your Family, one of our brand new games. Each team of three players need to work together using a giant bird puppet to pick up as many worms as possible and run them back to the nest. Confrontations are fought out with loud squarking and posturing.

During lunch we came up with another game to play through the Book Market that Federation Square hosts every weekend. It’s so new it doesn’t have a name yet, but it proved that quickly developed games can work just as well as those with months of work and prop development.

After lunch we played Movie of You, another of our brand spankin’ new games. Teams are let loose on Fed Square and have to make a 30 second trailer for an upcoming movie via their smart phones. One team even found a knight of old to star in their movie.

Last up we played Blind Trust, a game by a new Melbourne games company Killkenny games. Blindfolded teams have to make their way around the play space lead only by the sound of a leader’s voice. But does the person shouting you instructions have your best interests at heart?