Though I did not move throughout the game, I found it to be a very intriguing experiment. It captured my imagination in an unusual way and has given me some interesting food for thought.
2:05 pm Sean and I arrive at the Western Front Arts Centre to see participants already setting off. Sean is a Black Knight and I am a Black Rook; however we are at opposite sides of the board from each other. In the interests of speed, I decide to take an express bus to my starting position at 5th and Cambie.
2:19 pm Text message from S: Im in position I see no other pieces in any intersection
Reply from M (stepping off express bus to Cambie St.): At Cambie heading to 5th
Walking down to 5th I realize how tiny I am in scale relative to the size of the board.
2:30 pm Text message from S: I see king rook
Reply from M: Standing on traffic island at split of 5th and 2nd. This confused me briefly
Facing directly opposite me is the Vancouver City police station. On my right is the Cambie St. bridge onramp. Traffic is steady so the noise from the onramp is noticeable. I am glad I have my phone on high. Behind me are closed autobody and collision shops. Stretching away to my left along 5th Avenue is a string of parked cars. I can’t see anybody else at all.
S: I see lots of pieces now
M: I just see the police
2:40 pm S: I’m moving h6
Reply M: I find myself “performing” for police officers
Am trying to look cool to these cops by standing “at ease” ie: purposefully, head erect, eyes front, arms behind back. There’s nobody else around, and I think this stance will mean someone will ask me what I’m doing. I probably just look like a dork in a hat.
2:59 pm S: Some guys are shooting a film at h6 [7th and Main]
Just overheard a police officer tell his kids there is a shift change at 3 pm. This explains all the cops entering the building.
3:10 pm S: Im going f7
Reply M: I still haven’t moved yet and no one has asked me what I’m doing
Reply S: Iue [sic] seen dozens of non players go by all wearing black – you don’t stand out probably!
Reply M: Nobody here but us cops
3:17 pm S: White bish just passed me
Can’t believe nothing is happening this end of the board. Hat, gloves and woolly socks were a good idea as the sun is now behind the onramp and it is definitely cold.
3:40 pm S: Black piece 1 blk from me is using scooter to move
3:45 pm S: Theres a couple @ f8 playing one piece
See a black-clad woman with a silver crown and staff striding down Cambie towards me. If she’s coming to capture me, she must be the White Queen. We take 3 pictures of her capturing me.
3:50 pm M: CAPTURED BY WHITE Q
Reply S: That sux – did you get to move at all?
NO. I start up Cambie St to catch a bus back to home base, relieved to be walking after ninety minutes but disappointed that I didn’t get to move.
It also becomes apparent over hot drinks at the pub afterwards that I wasn’t captured by the White Queen, but by the Black Queen. Somehow Black “scored an own goal” there??
It all dissipates in the warmth of hot chocolate.