A New Games Album

from Lee Rush

Below are three photos that manage to capture the spirit of New Games. We see people laughing, enjoying themselves and each other, playing together, in community, and most scandalous of all, actually touching each other, and most inspirationally touching each other with trust and love and support, safe in each other's hands.

These are games we hardly ever play nowadays.

This is a photo of the Lap Game. I think the record is for over 3000 people in one Lap.

Here, we weave a tangled web playing the famous game of Knots.

And here the most delicious and, given our current state of enlightenment, least often played of our more infamous New Games, People Pass.

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I caught the caption under the "People Pass" snapshot about this game falling out of favor "given our current state of enlightenment" and it occurred to me that I have actually seen this game played at some of the more raucous and rowdy concerts I have attended.  It now goes under the more extreme name of "Stage Diving" and usually involves a shining moment of glory (climbing onto the stage with the band) and diving off into the (hopefully) helping hands of your fellows before you get caught, to be passed around until you become more...well...grounded. It's funny how the sense of community you can get from passing somebody around is the opposite from the message of the music that usually spurs it on.

Michael Weidenbach

Of the games we played at the Deep Fun session at Esalen, People Pass turned out to be one of the most, forgive the pun, transporting. We played it during the last session - the only session we played outdoors. It turned out to be one of those "hands-on" love fests - a living objective correlative of the support we had learned to give to and receive from each other during the intensely, profoundly playful weekend. 

photo by David Simoni

( It's a good practice, when playing lying-down-people-pass, to have someone at the head of the line with a knee to sit on. That way, the next person to be passed can sit down and then lean back, and the people preparing to pass the person can easily take over from there. The person standing at the end of the line is there to help people return to safely to the ground and get positioned to pass the next person in line.)