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Courtesy of ESI Design
Courtesy of ESI Design
Scenes from last year's Come Out & Play Festival.

Brooklynites of all ages, from kids to adults, are ready to ‘Come Out & Play’ for free!

DUMBO will play host to the first day of the annual Come Out & Play Festival (COAP) on Friday, July 21, much to the delight of gamers all over the borough.

However, COAP doesn’t consist of your average collection of games that provide a solitary experience.

Thanks to one of the lead partners for the festival, the New York based ESI Design, a design firm that showcases original games that make innovative use of a public space, the event consists of both new and creative ways to interact and play with friends.

According to ESI, the goal is to rely on simple items to create fun games in a day and age in which smartphone games are growing in popularity. Technology will also be featured, but in a way that allows attendees to interact with each other.

“In an age when most games are played between a single person and a screen, people are hungry for live, social experiences where they can have fun with family and also meet new friends,” said Debra Everett-Lane, director, content and activity design, ESI Design. “The Come Out & Play Festival is a chance to embrace your inner child and experience the thrill and joy of playing epic-size games.”

The goal of the event is to turn the space in which it takes place into one giant arcade for attendees of all ages. While the second day of the festival takes place on Governors Island, Brooklyn gets to kick off the weekend-long festivities in DUMBO, where the Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza and the surrounding area will be turned into the ultimate fun zone during Come Out & Play After Dark, which is run by Gigantic Mechanic and Playmatics.

Starting at 7 p.m., a combination of party games, physical video games, and new street games will be featured. Games will take place both indoors and outdoors.

“Some of the key ingredients for the most popular games are simplicity and surprise — games that are easy to understand so you can start playing right away, and games that play with your expectations,” added Everett-Lane.

ESI is responsible for attractions such as “Lost in Time.” The game will feature players using a smartphone app to role-play as crack journalists and track down all-American poet Walt Whitman, who has become unstuck in time and lost in DUMBO. “It’s a live-action, interactive story that weaves together DUMBO’s past and present,” said ESI in a statement.

Other games featured by other companies such as Playmatics include “Higher than the Stars,” described as a game about night as a space in which to explore identity and what it feels like to sneak out of your house at night when you’re 13 to hang out with friends.

A fun and funny group puzzle game named “Mastermind Party 1998” is featured by Pete Vigeant & The Completely Surrounded, while Gigantic Mechanic is bringing “Karaoke Riot” under the Manhattan Bridge as well as  “Super Skinny Soccer,” a game that squeezes all the fun and excitement of soccer down to six players, six minutes and a three-foot-wide pitch.

“Play isn’t just for kids,” said Everett-Lane. “It’s essential for all of us. And it’s always better when it’s social, rather than just the player against the game. Come Out & Play offers fun for everyone, no matter your age. So come along to one of the events in the festival to rediscover the joy of play.”

Come Out & Play After Dark will take place on Friday, July 21, from 7  to 10:30 p.m. in DUMBO’s Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza, across from 155 Water Street. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.comeoutandplay.org.

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