What Happens in Paris…

… of course doesn’t stay in Paris. As already mentioned, I went to Paris and spent a wonderful evening there. Here are some impressions.

The exhibition takes place in La Gaîté Lyrique. Apparently, a former theater that was now changed into an exhibition venue.

La Gaîté Lyrique

My Crib!

This being a former theater situated in central Paris, they of course have some very fancy interior design. I especially loved those chandeliers!

La Gaîté Lyrique - Second Floor

Sadly, they didn’t sell the chandeliers at the souvenir shop. Can you believe it?!

The exhibition itself is apparently part of a larger project going on there. It’s situated in right in the entrance hall on the first floor. It comes in some pretty sleek modern style.

La Gaîté Lyrique - Exhibition

The games exhibition a bit more down to earth – which means modern and futuristic!

TRAUMA is the only game there that is being controlled with a mouse. At first I was worried if people would able to play it this way. But apparently, it doesn’t cause too many difficulties. People would eagerly approach the stations.

Unlike the Notgames Fest, the exhibition follows an open structure where game stations don’t use headphones. This way, an open exchange between visitors is facilitated. People can discuss the games while playing. I have been told that it works very well, especially for the discussion-happy Parisian audience. Of course, the flip face is that immersive games don’t work quite as well. It seems like this is generally a dilemma of games exhibitions that hasn’t been resolved yet.

La Gaîté Lyrique - TRAUMA

I swear, I took this photo in one rare moment when nobody was playing!

We had a wonderful evening, thanks to the Kokoromi Collective, One Life Remains and all the other wonderful people involved with the exhibition. There were games, discussions…

La Gaîté Lyrique - Discussions

Talking games like a bowse!

… and there were drinks too! In this case they came from this striking cyborg lady. Apparently she was wearing a dress that would dispense shots if you played a round of Truth or Dare against her. All the hardware, including an iPhone was perfectly integrated into the dress. The styling was eerily reminiscent of eXistenZ.

La Gaîté Lyrique - Cyborg Lady

I will assimilate you using my stylish looks, fancy gear and shot drinks. Resistance is futile!

And of course we had the opportunity to play Joust, the new Sony Move game by Copenhagen Game Collective, the creators of B.U.T.T.O.N. It’s a simple but amazingly effective game where each player tries to make the other player shake their Sony Move controller while keeping their own controller steady. Hilarity ensues.

La Gaîté Lyrique - Joust

When a man jousts a woman… ok that came out wrong

Finally, we retreated to the One Life Remains HQ for a huge Sushi + Red Wine feast!

As a final interesting detail, we tried to get around the astronomic prices the rail companies charge for short-term tickets. Katharina Tillmanns, my companion for this trip, came up with the idea of using an Internet Hitchhiking service. We came out at the fraction of what the rail ticket would cost. But we also discovered an underground bus operation going on between France and Germany. Apparently, there is an organization, that got themselves a small fleet of People Carriers and is using the Internet Hitchhiking service to sell cheap bus rides to various locations. Not that we minded too much. They performed exactly as advertised and the price is almost impossible to beat. It just felt almost like some kind of Human Trafficking, especially since there were a lot of immigrants involved.

Undergound Bus System

One of the stations of the pan-european underground bus operation.

Nevertheless, we had a great time in Paris! We were very sad about having to leave so early. Next time, we shall stay for longer!

And remember, if you are in Paris you can still visit the exhibition. It’s open until the 13th November!

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

3 responses to “What Happens in Paris…”

  1. Erick

    Tough luck, I went to Gaité Lyrique too late and it seems there was some kind of concert going on, so only people with tickets could enter. I’m still going to see the exposition, though.

    1. Krystian Majewski

      I’m sorry to hear that. I have been told that the exhibition would be open to the public. :(

      I hope it will work out on your next try!

  2. Cindy Poremba

    The sad thing is I think this was actually a mistake on the part of the security staff at the Gaîté Lyrique! At one point they even tried to shoo people out of the videogame space, and we had to kindly explain to them our vernissage was scheduled until 23h :-(

    (I guess typically they close at 20h)

    I’m so sorry to hear you were denied entry!


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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