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I went to a video game convention and found the books

January 27, 2015

I spent the weekend at PAX South in San Antonio, Texas. PAX, for those of you who don’t know, stands for the Penny Arcade Expo. Penny Arcade is an incredibly successful web comic about video games. It is written and drawn by two men in the Seattle area. In 2004 they started their own convention as a place for fans of video games to gather, see new content, talk with developers, and generally geek out about games. The original show, PAX Prime, has grown into four yearly shows; Prime, East, Australia, and now South.

So, I went there for video games. And I saw plenty of video games, but I also found books! I had flagged two of the Indie Tabletop games that were being featured at the convention as things I wanted to look into. And then, as I was coming down the escalator into the expo hall I saw it!

Photo from  Do Better Games Facebook page

Photo from Do Better Games Facebook page :

There was a BOOKSHELF in the middle of the expo hall! The bookshelf was part of the booth for a game called Bring Your Own Book. The game is kind of like a literary scavenger hunt. Each player has a book, yes, a real, paper book. They draw prompt cards from the deck and then everyone races each other and the clock to find the best match to the prompt within their book. There are several different rule sets depending on how challenging you want the game to be. There are infinite variations. What about playing with only romance novels? You could play with only non-fiction or only sci-fi. You could all rotate books every round. The possibilities are endless!
The game is available online right now as a print and play, but there’s also a Kickstarter running for lovely boxed versions of the game. I highly encourage you to check it out! I’ve already backed the Kickstarter and basically pledged myself to do anything I can to help the game be a success. So, fair warning, I’ll probably bug you about it over the next 27 days.

paperbackRight next to Bring Your Own Book there was another book related game called Paperback. They had a typewriter. It was how you put yourself on their mailing list. They are my favorites!
The point of the game is to draw cards and form words. You also have to finish your novel. I picked up a copy of the game and as soon as UPS delivers it I’ll tell you all about how much I enjoyed playing it. They also had these fantastic postcards with pulp covers. I picked up a full set of those too, because how could I not?¬†Paperback is available now and can be purchased from the website.

If you like games and books I suggest you look into these two. They’re pretty spiffy. Also, if you’re in the Birmingham area, we’ll be playing both these games at Little Professor for TableTop Day in April. I’ll update you more on that as we get closer.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2015 9:55 am

    Do keep us posted on these! I’ve never heard games that incorporate books! I’d definitely be interested to know about your experiences playing them with friends.

  2. January 27, 2015 2:37 pm

    Video games and books in one? You just combined two of my favorite hobbies! How cool! What is table Top Day?

    • January 27, 2015 4:09 pm

      TableTop Day is a celebration of table top games. It was started by Wil Wheton and Felicia Day two years ago to compliment Wil’s Youtube show, TableTop. Local game stores, coffee shops, bookstores, etc will have games set up for people to come play. It’s on April 11 this year. You can go to the TableTop Day Website and search for events in your area.

  3. January 28, 2015 2:02 pm

    Those sound like some pretty awesome games, I’ll have to check them out. I saw some of your pictures on your instagram and spent a good deal of time wishing I could be there, lol!

    • January 28, 2015 4:12 pm

      I enjoyed it. It was my first PAX. I’m kind of sad that I didn’t bring a costume, but maybe next year if I go back!

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