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Bread & Butter: All Games Big & Small


News and letters on the Game Lantern - the world's first magic lantern game system by P.D. Warne

Bread & Butter: All Games Big & Small

Paul Warne

Hello My Dears,

When I was around the age you are now, I played a little nonsensical game with your grandmother that we called "Bread & Butter".  

Bread & Butter: How To Play

  • Two players walk down the street holding hands
  • When approaching an obstacle (parking meter, light pole, person, etc. ) players let go of each other's hand while exclaiming "BREAD!"
  • Players continue on their forward  trajectory
  • After the obstacle has fully passed between the two players,  they cry out "BUTTER!" in unison as they rejoin hands
  • Repeat the above steps until players reach their destination, or find a new distraction to marvel upon

You may remember that we played this game, too. In fact, we play lots of our own little silly games. Many we invent and change the rules for on the fly. Games such as  “Sometimes I Dream”, “Hello Mister” and the mysterious art of “Thumb-Fu”. However the lack of seriousness that makes these games work so well also renders them quite ephemeral—it can be easy to look past or completely forget about them. As a game maker they hold a special place in my heart, so I will be writing this new series of Bread & Butter letters in an attempt to document them all.

This documentation idea was inspired by the amazing Montreal Pixelles—a group dedicated to “empowering more women to make and change games”. Each year Pixelles hosts a Mother's Day Game Jam. Game makers sit around creating games for or about the mothers in their lives. Everyone chats and shares stories about moms while crafting games, giving the whole event a wonderful quilting or knitting circle vibe. It is my all-time favorite game jam. Here is a picture from a little Papercade I built at the first Mother's Day Game Jam for your mother.

I hope to write down as many of our games as I can before MDGJ 2016. Then during the game jam, I would like the three of us to compile the games into a little book dedicated to the memory of your grandmother. The name of this book will be "BUTTER!"—an exclamation celebrating how such a little game can reconnect me with my mother, even now that death has come between us. It is also a declaration to the both of you that nothing will ever keep us forever apart. This is the power and magic I see in the heart of all good games, no matter how big or small.