Recently I have joined a monthly photo challenge group to experiment with different themes. January’s theme was Games so I grabbed my camera and starting taking lots of photos. The idea is to take 5 or more photos base around the theme and to then write and share about the photos that you took throughout that month on the theme.
I love games and always have. Whether it is a board game, computer game or even a simple word game, I have found them have a key place in my heart so it was a great theme for my first challenge.
First of my challenge started over the festive period, still celebrating the start of a new year. Often around Christmas and new year is the time when families come together and play new games and even in my childhood I have fond memories of my dad trying to beat How wants to be a Millionaire, or the infamous debate to whether my nan’s answer counted because she didn’t say “bing” or “bong” before her answer. I even remember unwrapping a big box one year with my sister of the brand new gladiators game, the only present we both remember from that year.
This year was no different, but this time it was playing games with the BF’s family rather than my own. During a game of “the logo game” I couldn’t resist taking photographs but this one was my overall favourite.
When it comes to social games, whether they are board, card or word based, often there is food and beverages also present. This often results in the additional challenge of overcoming any alcohol induced limitation for adults or the all ages hurdle of trying to play games without knocking over any drinks. This in its self often feels like a game in its own right.
Games are not only played though in just our homes – arcades are present up and down the country. As a seaside city, Brighton has a wealth of arcade games; though most are mainly on the Palace Pier.
On a frost bitten morning, I went for a stroll along the seafront; making my way into the weekday half empty arcade near the front of pier so that I could have fun taking photos of games outside of my house. There is after all only so many photos of computers and board games that anyone can take and I wanted to see how much I could push myself and my camera.
Walking into the first dome on the pier, coin machines seem to be everywhere, with coins tittering on the edge tempting you to play. How the coins seemed stacked so high and far over the edge is fascinating but also infuriating for those hoping to make some extra pennies.
For me, capturing this seemed the best way to capture a machine as this is often what you look at before you start to play or whether any new coins have fallen. It seems to beg the question – would you have played this machine with so many coins stacked so high and far out?
Visiting one of the arcades was exciting with an array of different coloured lights flashing everywhere, and all the machines taking on a different shape or look – yet many down the middle were the same game.
Here you can see the row of machines, all of the same game but in a different package. Walking down the middle of the arcade it seemed hard to find a different type of game; but stray to the edges and you would find a barrage of different games all with their own game play or interface.
While I took a number of other photos, these two still remained my favourite at what seems to be the main focus of this arcade – to get you to spend some coins in the hope that you don’t realise how much money you have spent.
A week later we were lucky to have a light pattering of snow one morning, a sight I have hardly seen since I left living in London. The cold air and snow seemed to repel away the normal throng of parents with their kids in the park so the park felt empty for once with no games being played or sounds of joy echoing around the gardens as it normally does.
While I took a number of pictures that morning, of people and animals playing in the snow, the most apparent photos for me to share when it came to games is what places built for games and fun are like when no one is around. How different an appearance that they take on seems cold and bizarre even with the equipment brightly painted.
Most days, whether a weekday or weekend, there are kids flying down this slide but with the snow untouched it is apparent no squeals of delight or games of snowball fights have occurred.
The ground around the swings didn’t even bare any footprints to them and even as I took this photo, I could even hear the squeals of a young child wanting to fly on them despite the cold.
That snowy day showed that without games or fun, some places utterly change in how they appear. If you imagine a park, even with snow, you probably would think of kids running around playing games, rather than the stillness that the snow had brought.
Games are great and a world without them would be a dark place. They make learning fun, life enjoyable and often act as a great way to break the ice with family, friends and colleagues.
Are you taking part in this month’s photo challenge – I would love to see what photos you have taken!