In 2006, over 1,000 players, ranging in age from 10 to "don’t ask," gathered in New York for the inaugural Come Out & Play festival. Competitors roamed the city, playing Space Invaders projected on buildings in Chelsea, putting rounds of mini-golf in Tompkins Square, and evading zombies in Chinatown. The following year, Come Out & Play went to Amsterdam. It wasn’t until 2011 that the festival finally arrived in the city voted most likely to transform itself into a giant living game board, that is, ours. It went very well. So this year, Come Out & Play lasts a full month. The standing exhibition includes a laser maze which you must navigate to steal works of art from the Hearst Collection; a replica of a living room filled with strange and unusual boards games by local designers; and a dry-erase board, which stands between you and a devastating insect infestation. On opening night, players are thrust into city streets to play games ranging from Wanted, an SMS-driven wild west game of cops-and-robbers based on historical cowgirls, to Shadowplay, a large-scale vertical street game using your own silhouette. The festival culminates in a play weekend December 1-2 but don’t wait. As Roald Dahl said, "Life is more fun if you play games."
Sat., Nov. 17, 6 p.m.; Nov. 20-24, noon; Nov. 27-Dec. 2, noon; First Tuesday-Saturday of every month, noon. Starts: Nov. 17. Continues through Dec. 19, 2012