Monday, February 12, 2007

Public Pillow Fight - February 14, 2007!

It's not a game, exactly--but it is public play.

Join the second annual Valentine's Day pillow fight at the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Full details are here.

Amazing photos from last year's fight here. Literally hundreds showed up to play.

Hope to see you there! Full instructions below.

It’s not Valentine’s Day, it’s

Where: Justin Herman Plaza (Market & Embarcadero), San Francisco, CA.

When: Wednesday, February 14th, when the Ferry Building clock strikes 6pm.



1) Tell everyone you know about Pillow Fight!

2) Tell EVERYONE YOU KNOW about Pillow Fight!!!

3) Nothing in your pillow but pillow.

4) Don’t hit anyone with out a pillow.

5) Don’t hit anyone operating a camera.

Last year’s Pillow Fight was *amazing*! Let’s make the magic happen again! Please bring a few trash bags to share and help pick up after wards.


evelyn said...

i heard it was a lot of fun. i've only seen a few low res video clips. what's the report from someone who went?

Jane said...

It was definitely organized chaos. I had no idea people liked being smacked so hard. I had to take my leave after about 5 minutes because my head was smack in the line of fire for taller, enthusiastic men whaling away at anything that moved. It may make me a bit of a pillow fight wimp, but this event definitely reminded me why I'm a game designer and game player -- I like a little more structure in my activities. Free-for-alls tend to shut out the wider range of participation that a structured experience can afford. I was debating with some other pillow fighters whether the following game-like modification to Public Pillow Fight would improve or screw up the experience: Hard hitters, head for the center. Featherweights, head for the perimeter. The idea here being that if you wanted to wale away and smack people's brains around really vigorously, you could do it amongst like-minded folks. If you wanted to play but not risk double vision, you could do so along the sidelines. The middle rings would afford progressively more violent play. My partner-in-crime Kiyash thought that adding any organization, even just one rule, would mess up the spirit of unbridled play and chaos, which I can understand; I think that's a fair point. But a lot of women who bailed early like me and stood watching were clearly disappointed to have been beaten out of the game by folks who didn't recognize a range of participation. Would be curious to hear other thoughts on this!

lisatized said...

I got to the Pillow Fight at about 7:30, just in time for watching the scene wind down and the clean-up begin. I knew it was a good event because the afterglow on the people still hanging around was evident. Justin Herman Plaza was a beautiful sight with white feathers everywhere, and people swinging their pillows at the ground to blow the snowy plumes into concentrated areas. I had dinner with some friends that were there for the fight. Everyone had a great time. The women I talked to did tend to stay around the outside edges mostly because of height issues and the mentioned that smaller, tamer fights were happening in clusters around the perimeter. By the time we were done with dinner, the clean-up trucks had vacuumed up the space and all that was left were a few stray feathers blowing around for blocks away from the site.
I would agree that having rules wouldn't work with this particular event. The mob action, anti-authority aspect is what draws many people and offers easy access without having to be concerned with rules. Also, I think that a large majority of those heavy hitters wouldn't bother to follow rules anyway so caution would have to be used whether playing in the inner ring or the outer.

Paul Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Kyle said...

To see some pics of the chaos looky here.

Though I did not directly participate in the whaling, I did hover around and take photos. The great sense of shared experience in the event was a bit surprising to me: I found myself laughing out loud and smiling most the time, at the fun and absurdity of it all.

I agree with Kiyash that it is important to maintain the spirit of unbridled play and chaos. But there *was* a rule not to whale on the photographers, and that was pretty much followed, by my experience at least (any contact was inadvertent). Maybe there would be a way to color code (white tee shirts?) the "featherweights" that would be followed the same way the photographer rule was. I'm on the side that a simple modification like this would be minor to the play, would likely be more or less followed, and allow more fun participation for all.

I found the number of photographers (myself very included) staggering. Everything is so over-mediated in the 21st century. I believe this is generally a good thing. The mediation provides new and meaningful ways to participate, share, analyze, and connect to the actual event. But it puts the onus on event organizers to find interesting ways to make sure that people put the cameras down and actually participate. That the actual physical participation is always more meaningful (or at least differently qualified) than being a passive observer or documenter.

Doc said...

Well it was crazy. Only in San Francisco can you invite several hundred (or thousand) people to show up and whallap strangers with an object and nobody gets seriously hurt.

I found the experience completely amazing.

I managed to shoot a few pics.

Check em out