Locally based artist Germaine Koh introduces League to promote collaboration and problem solving through play.



Remember being a kid and turning the games you loved on their head by introducing or removing rules, or adding new obstacles and challenges? I remember personally doing things like putting two chess boards together to form some sort of mega-chess, or changing Monopoly by putting every property up for auction. Change was a way to introduce new life into an old game, or simply to see what would happen and what could be created if you altered the parameters. In that spirit, Vancouver based artist Germaine Koh is inviting anyone that would like to join her to come out and re-imagine play with League, a community based collaborative event held weekly on Tuesdays and on the last Sunday of every month at the Elm Park field house in Vancouver-Kerrisdale.

Billed as “problem solving as play as problem solving”, League will be an open gathering for the purpose of playing sports and games invented by members of the community. Each game will evolve through trial and improvisation, and new and unusual equipment may be invented. At its foundation, the project is based on the notion that play is an essential human pursuit. Useful both in the development of cognitive skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and negotiation, as well as in the simple pursuit of pleasure (FUN!!!).

My Daughter Sadie and I had the opportunity to join the group back in November when the focus was on creating games using sticks and stick like objects. The results were all over the place, and included an oversized combination of pick up sticks/marco polo among other games. The freedom to introduce new variations and ideas on the fly made the games fun and easy going. There was no emphasis on scores or winning and losing and it was obvious that everyone assembled, both the young and old were having a good time and feeding off one another creatively. Ultimately, this is a project with appeal for any one, regardless of whether they identify as athletic, or creative, or neither.


The next gathering of League will take place this Sunday, January 27th, 2013 from noon to three pm at Elm Park located at 41st Avenue at Elm in Kerrisdale. The gathering this week celebrates Family Literacy Day, with games related to signs and signals.

For more information about League, you can check out the blog (which provides links to some seriously interesting reads). You can also find League on Facebook, and  follow along on the twitter.

Photographs and League info provided by Germain Koh.