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What is SpyParty?
SpyParty is a spy game about human behavior, performance, perception, and deception. While most espionage games have you spend your time shooting stuff, blowing stuff up, and driving fast, SpyParty has you hide in plain sight, deceive your opponent, and detect subtle behavioral tells to achieve your objectives.
Unlike the suave and confident spies you might find in films or books, most spies in spy games are more like super powered commandos--more Rambo than James Bond. By contrast, SpyParty is a new and quite different game about the more interesting and deeper aspects of being a spy.
I will not be competing in SCL Season 6, and will in fact be taking an extended hiatus from SpyParty competitive play which will last for the foreseeable future. I will continue to administer the league, though, and I will continue to play SpyParty casually and be an active member of this wonderful community. The hiatus only extends to actual competitive play.
The reason is a simple one of time. Playing SpyParty competitively requires an enormous sum of time and effort from me, and while I could feasibly continue to keep that up, it always takes away greatly from other projects I could be working on, especially other projects for SpyParty.
How have I survived Diamond? What is it like for me to play in that terribly strong division for years on end? To understand my answer to those questions, you need two pieces of context.
The first piece of context has to do with a quote about love. It describes a concept that I’ve lived by since I read the quote, though I’ve now forgotten who wrote or said it. Whoever that was, they were talking about someone they loved dearly: “You are hard work.”
The meaning, as I take it, is that even (especially!) the best and most rewarding things in life, including true love itself, demand our hard work;—our attention, our focus, and our effort, to the best of our ability to give it. Nothing worthwhile is effortless.
You can tell at a glance the people who don’t know what SpyParty is about. The ones who do eagerly rush to get in line to play, or else stand at a distance feverishly narrating the action to their friends. But then there are the ones who have never seen this before, or perhaps who have heard the name “SpyParty” vaguely associated with something cool, but have no other knowledge.
My favorite part of working SpyParty’s PAX booth is talking to these people. I walk casually up to them with a slight grin on my face, feeling every bit like a lion stalking its unsuspecting prey on the savannah, or maybe a drug pusher with something extremely addictive to sell. I just need to get them to TASTE this game. My partner tells me that she thinks I am unrivaled as a persuader and/or salesman if I’m talking about something that I love or care about, and I love and care about SpyParty.
“Hi, how’s it going, enjoying your PAX?” is how I typically start. Usually I get some kind of half-response, like “Yeah….” as they don’t look at me, their eyes straining to understand what is happening at the cocktail party they’re watching on the screen. Maybe this is some kind of sniper game, like Silent Scope, they are perhaps thinking. That’s when it’s important to intrude on their train of thought.
Note: this is a day-by-day diary of Krazycaley’s trip to PAX Prime to help man the SpyParty booth. It is being reproduced here with permission of the author. Enjoy.
Wednesday, August 27th, 11:00pm
Wodar is arriving early. He previously warned me that he might do so, so by 11 I’ve ensured that my law practice is in order for the next week, my things are packed, and my partner Jess and my dog William have both been properly wished farewell. Wodar finds a street not too far from where I live to park his car for the next few days, so I come and pick him up. He wishes, upon my picking him up, that I had opened the door and said “get in, there’s no time to explain.” We roll off down the 605 toward Drawnonward, who apparently plans to stream with us present.