The Come Out and Play Festival is a street games fesitval dedicated to exploring new styles of games and play.

Come Out & Play

Mentions of the festival in the press near, close, far and wide.

New York Magazine
Big Games: New Yorkers Turn Midtown Into a Board Game
by Christine Lagorio
June 15, 2009
"This wasn’t a collective dive into insanity, exactly. These were just some moments from Come Out and Play, a festival celebrating so-called “Big Games” in urban environments. "

Report: Come Out And Play -- Inside New York's Outdoor Game Festival
by Jill Duffy
June 15, 2009
"I attended Come Out & Play last year, but for this year’s festival (June 12-14, 2009), I acted as one of the judges."

NY 1
Games Festival Turns Manhattan Into Playground
by NY 1 News
June 13, 2009
Includes Video
"The Times Square Alliance organized various games held throughout the city and set up a giant white igloo in the middle of Times Square."

Live Action Pitfall! in NYC Tonight
by Owen Good
June 13, 2009
"Teams of four will traverse the hazards of Atari 2600 classic Pitfall!, using a projected background and a theater stage, in the "Come Out & Play Festival 2009" tonight in Manhattan."

New York Post
Play Anything: Adults Get Their Game On This Weekend at Widespread Fun Fest
by Don Kaplan
June 13, 2009
"New York's fourth annual Come Out and Play Festival [is] a celebration of urban gaming that takes place in the city this weekend. The event features more than 35 different games for kids and adults."

Fox 5 Freebies: Come Out and Play Festival
by NY 1 News
June 12, 2009
"Manhattan is being turned into a giant playground this weekend for hopscotch, cell phone spying and cat-and-mouse games, as part of the annual Come Out And Play Festival."

Time Out New York / Issue 715
"Own This City: Come Out and Play"
by Amy Plitt
June 11-17, 2009
"The city is your playground during this fest, which features 34 new games by more than 90 designers. Here are five you won’t want to miss."

Free Bees: Make Manhattan Your Playground
by Tara Gladden
June 10, 2009
"This weekend, the Come Out and Play festival takes over Times Square (and large swathes of Central Park) as part of its mission to bring fun, chaos and a new appreciation of their city to jaded, burnt-out New Yorkers."

Mommy Poppins
Get Your Game On at Come Out and Play Festival
by Gena
Posted June 8, 2009
"It's not about winning, but about rediscovering the city through play and play through the city."

The New York Times
Whiffle Hurling? Bag Tag? Hey, It's Art
by Alex Williams
May 15, 2009
Article about growing "art-game" movement features two Come Out & Play games: Whiffle Hurling (2008) and Circle Rules Football (2009).
"These sports, like vikingball, class-conscious kickball and straightjacket softball, are supposed to be competitive games, but also art."

Time Out New York
"Summer in NYC: The hot season's best events, chosen by TONY's editors."
May 6, 2009
"Embrace your inner middle-schooler at this street-game extravaganza, which turns NYC into an enormous playground. As for the activities, anything goes: Past festivals have featured a sprawling mini-golf tourney across the Lower East Side, as well as human blackjack."

Village Voice
Urban Folklore: When the Olympics, Putt-putt, and Geometrical Picnicking Meet
by Nate Maton
June 10, 2008
"From swinging clubs to picnicking for points, from remote-controlled humans with nerf guns to training for an amateur Olympic sport, the only common thread amid all the bustle is that the games are attracting more attention than ever before."

USA Today
NYC festival reminds grown-ups how to play
by Samantha Gross, Associated Press Writer
June 8, 2008
"From Friday through Sunday, the festival turned the city's streets into a game board of sorts, as people played mini golf on the sidewalks of the Lower East Side and launched a game similar to manhunt amid the crowds in a city park."

Time Out New York / Issue 662
Play's the thing: New Yorkers get their game on at the Come Out & Play Festival
by Adam Rath
June 4-10, 2008
"If the virtual thrills of Mario Kart are wearing thin, maybe you should put down the Wiimote, turn off the TV and join the hundreds of living, breathing human beings hitting the streets from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 at the third annual Come Out & Play Festival."

Mommy Poppins
Come Out And Play! Street Game Festival
by mommy
Posted June 3, 2008
"Experience Random Acts of Fun at this street game festival. Come Out & Play, the all-free event which runs from June 6-8 turns the city into a playground with everything from massive multi-player scavenger hunts to real life video games to competitive picnicking."

boingboing: A Directory of Wonderful Things
Free street games at NYC's Come Out and Play Festival this weekend!
by Cory Doctorow
Posted June 3, 2008

Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins
Henry Jenkins discusses the festival and the documentary that MIT produced about Come Out & Play in Big Games with Big Goals. Check out the New Media Exemplar documentary here, 07 Ian Bogost, Jane McGonigal and Mattia Romeo, Big Games.
Posted April 4, 2007

Os jogos invadem as ruas
by Denis Russo
November 2006

National Geographic
Mobile Games Superimpose Virtual Fun on the Real World
by Mason Inman
October 16, 2006
"Come Out and Play is one of the first gatherings of mobile social games in the United States, and it features a wide variety of forms. So-called big games are similar in design to board games but are played across city blocks instead of in living rooms."

Village Voice
Game Theory
by Silke Tudor
October 3rd, 2006
"There are nearly 1,000 players - many of them game designers, reviewers, teachers, and producers from across the country - participating in events ranging from Lightning Buzz, advanced tag played with flashlights, to Plundr, a high-tech location-based game involving laptops, black-market trading, and MEGAputt golf in Central Park."

Complete coverage of the festival, Crossroads, Snagu and Cruel 2 B Kind
by Scott Jon Siegel
Posted September 29, 2006
Come Out and Play in NYC
Snagu impresses NYC crowds with addictive gameplay
Times Square tourists learn that it’s Cruel 2 B Kind
Crossroads and avant-garde gaming

CBS News Online
‘Big Game’ Safari In Manhattan: Cubicle Warriors Compete In Super-Sized Games Between Skyscrapers
by Christine Lagorio
September 27, 2006
Includes Video
"An estimated 800 to 1,000 people participated in the weekend festival's 20-plus games. The appeal is something between that of a public bike ride and the trendy flash mobs of 2003."

Advertising Age
Interactive Advertising Games of the Physical Kind
by Noelle Weaver
September 26, 2006
"Quite simply, I walked away from this weekend inspired. Wondering why more interactive and imagainative games such as these weren't being created as advertising programs for our clients?"

Video: ‘Space Invaders’ in Manhattan
by Caroline McCarthy
September 26, 2006
"...A five-story-tall version of the classic video game [Space Invaders] was one of the kickoff events at the inaugural Come Out and Play Festival, a celebration of the growing trend of street games."

New York Magazine
Approval Matrix - Week of October 2, 2006
Cruel 2 B Kind: Brilliant & Lowbrow
Published September 24, 2006
"Cruel 2 B Kind, the citywide assasinate-people-with-courteous-gestures game."

‘Killing’ gamers with kindness
By Daniel Terdiman
September 24, 2006
"Part of the fun of "Cruel 2 B Kind" is trying to guess which groups are participants. After all, the area just north of Times Square--the game was held between 48th and 58th streets--is teeming with all kinds of groups on a warm Saturday afternoon in September."

‘Payphone Warriors’ call on New York streets
By Daniel Terdiman
September 24, 2006
"I can honestly say I've never had a more fun--or exhausting--half-hour of making phone calls in my life."

Gaming on the streets of Manhattan
“Come Out and Play” to bring together designers, technophilosophers, utopian free spirits and gamers.
By Caroline McCarthy
September 22, 2006
"Street gaming can be considered a friendly exercise in communal cooperation, an edgy way of sticking it to convention, a technology-driven look into the future of social interaction or a major case of nostalgia. Or, as is the case with many of the masterminds behind Come Out and Play, street gaming can be all of those things."

Crazy and/or brilliant: Come Out and Play Festival in NYC
by Will Greenwald
September 21, 2006
"The Come Out and Play Festival brings video games into the real world, thanks to the dedicated and creative work of the festival's volunteers. Participants join several dozen games using everything from cell phones and GPS systems to library books and good deeds."

The Villager
War Games - at the corner of Washington Sq. and University Pl.
By Rachel Fershleiser
September 20, 2006
"Once upon a time, Capture the Flag was played in the backyard, Risk was played on the kitchen table, and PONG was played on an Atari home console. Now, thanks largely to modern technology and old-fashioned creativity, the lines between private and public games are beginning to blur, and on September 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, the inaugural Come Out and Play Festival will try to erase them altogether."

Time Out / Issue 572
Playing with blocks
by Noah Davis
September 14-20, 2006
"Although the term big game commonly refers to wildlife ripe for hunting on an African safari, it's taken on another connotation here in the urban jungle."

Time Out New York / Issue 569
The Avant-Nerds: New dork city
by Alia Akkam, Dan Avery, Max Foxman, Dustin Goot, Kirk Miller, Mike Olson and Matt Schneiderman
August 24-30, 2006
Time Out New York piece about the rise of “avant nerdism” and new types of activities and play.
"Just as that crazy Christo transformed Central Park into a work of art, the three-day Come Out & Play Festival will turn the city into a giant board for large-as-life street games."

Wired / Issue 14.09
The Biggest Level of All
by Scott Stein
September 2006
"Most gamers want to escape from the real world; the Come Out & Play Festival celebrates games played in it."

O’Reilly Radar
Come Out and Play
May 6, 2006
O’Reilly Radar featured the festival on their blog as well as having one of our organizers, Greg Trefry, speak at Where 2.0 about Big Games.
June 8, 2006 Check out the podcast for Where 2.0 Greg did with Kevin Slavin of area/code.

Wired Monkey Bites Blog
Location-Based Gaming: Big Games in the Real World
Short piece about the rise of location-based gaming.

Info and Images
  • Media Fact Sheet
  • Festival Logo (JPG, Hi-Res)

  • 2009 Photos, Jim Bearden
  • 2009 Photos, Amanda Bernsohn
  • 2009 Photos, Lia Bulaong
  • 2009 Photos, Guy Chan
  • 2008 Photos, Amanda Bernsohn
  • 2008 Photos, Javier Oddo

  • Press may use images and photos. Please reference the festival and link to this site. When using photos, credit the game and photographer. Names are indicated in the filenames.

    Mailing List
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    Our Mission
    The Come Out & Play Festival seeks to provide a forum for new types of public games and play. We want to bring together a public eager to rediscover the world around them through play with designers interested in producing innovative new games and experiences.

    Oh yeah, and we want to have city-size fun.

    General Information
    e: gtrefry(@)comeoutandplay(.)org
    p: 646-807-8131

    Partnerships and San Francisco
    e: cherdlick(@)comeoutandplay(.)org
    p: 917-821-3078

    Come Out & Play Festival
    113 Carroll St, #3
    Brooklyn, NY 11231