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The n Games

Where:  Elm Park, Vancouver-Kerrisdale
When:  Sunday 8 September 2013, 10am-5pm
Cost:  Free. Spectators are welcome to bring a lawn chair or blanket


Solve for n

The n Games is an innovative tournament for teams from different backgrounds. It asks: what kind of team would be best prepared for unexpected challenges? A youth sports team or a finely-tuned business? A pick-up team of artists, or a leading ad agency? A performance troupe, a group of gamers, or players of obscure sports?

On 8 September 2013, different sports, cultural, and business teams from across Vancouver will compete against each other in The n Games, testing their teamwork, strategic skills and adaptability by playing invented sports they do not know. The games to be played will range from vigorous to cerebral, straightforward to strategic, and will ultimately test the teams’ ability to creatively solve different types of physical and mental challenges as a group. For some games, there may be opportunities for the teams to recruit from the public.

The tournament will take the format of two round-robin pools, followed by a playoff. The teams will not know in advance what games they will be playing; for each match, the game to be played will be drawn and rules explained a matter of minutes before the start. The tournament unfolds in Elm Park and is organized by League, a project for playing invented games and sports, launched in 2012 within the Vancouver Park Board Field House Residency Program. The n Games and League value play as a form of creative problem-solving, unconventional approaches to challenges, and tackling situations with both mind and body. Examples of the types of invented sports that could be played at The n Games are documented on the League site.

Competing for The n Games Cup, playfully devised by celebrated contemporary artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang, the participating teams represent a wide range of businesses and sports in the city of Vancouver. The award-winning advertising agency Rethink bring their nimble creativity to the field, while veteran game producers Roadhouse Interactive boast a deep knowledge of game strategy. Double Rainbow Dodgeball League, a community-based dodgeball league for all genders, hope to outshine the competition with their bright combination of agility and rainbow spandex, while Manhunt! Vancouver bring crafty tactics honed through their urban sports events. The friends behind the Daughters of Beer craft-beer blog have assembled a team of fellow cultural administrators and curators to bring their self-described “over-thinking skills” to the tournament. Finally, with their focus on creating theatre from the everyday life around us, Theatre Replacement, bring well-practiced performance skills.

View the schedule


Daughters of Beer & Co.

We are creators, competitors, curators, coordinators, commissioners, consultants, cultural planners, and cat owners – who share a common connection as capacious consumers of craft beer.

Special skills: strategic and easily distracted; over-thinkers skilled at guesswork; exhaust easily by our ambition; physical and fond of naps; overly organized for the unanticipated; competitive in non-confrontational incidents.


Double Rainbow Dodgeball

Double Rainbow Dodgeball is a 19+, non profit, inclusive community dodgeball league that encourages fun, positivity, safety, fitness, inclusion, and fair play in a drug & alcohol free space. This league is for all genders and is both queer and trans positive.



Manhunt! Vancouver

Manhunt! Vancouver is an organization dedicated to urban sport and games, reclaiming public space, and building an inclusive and safe casual sporting community.

At Manhunt! we play a variety of games from capture the flag, ninja chess, camouflage, sardines, dodge ball and of course, manhunt – catch us if you can.



Rethink “has helped elevate Vancouver’s advertising scene onto the worldwide stage” (BC Business) with its work for local clients such as Playland and Science World, winning Golden Lion, Juno, and scores of other awards along the way.

Rethink uses a ping-pong table as a boardroom table, an analogy for their approach to communication.


Roadhouse Interactive

We make games for ourselves and others. Roadhouse Interactive is an end-to-end producer, developer and operator of games for mobile and tablet. Our team has delivered or played key roles on some of the most well-known and successful game franchises of all time.



Theatre Replacement

Theatre Replacement builds performances that react to contemporary existence.

When making this work, we recognize the accomplishments and failures of the world around us; use biographical material to magnify these events through extended collaborative processes and training programs; and reproduce the results for local, national and international audiences.

Theatre Replacement  is an ongoing collaboration between James Long and Maiko Bae Yamamoto. Whether working together or apart, we use extended processes to create performances from intentionally simple beginnings. Our work is about a genuine attempt to coexist. Conversations, interviews and arguments collide with Yamamoto and Long’s aesthetics resulting in theatrical experiences that are authentic, immediate and hopeful. For The n Games, we have assembled a team of TR staff, board members, friends, and collaborators.


Press, Sponsors

Vancouver Courier preview



The n Games Toronto

League will also be presenting a version of The n Games as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto, overnight on 5-6 October 2013.


Press: Georgia Straight, “Vancouver artist Germaine Koh asks public to help invent new sports”

The Georgia Straight
Vancouver artist Germaine Koh asks public to help invent new sports

By Stephen Thomson, October 12, 2012

Germaine Koh wants to bring fun and games to a small park in Vancouver.

The local artist is behind the new “League” project, a free drop-in program that gives people a forum to play games and sports they have invented together.

The gatherings will be held weekly at the field house in Elm Park in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighbourhood.

“It’s a project that I’ve wanted to do for a while. I sort of proposed it in gallery situations when I’ve had exhibitions and we’ve never been able to pull it off,” Koh told the Straight by phone today (October 12).

“I’m quite interested in creating situations that bring people together in kind of open-ended, experimental ways,” she said.[...]

Koh described League as experiment to get people thinking creatively. She said its success will rely on public participation.

“It’s a kind of proposition about that we could be more playful in our everyday lives and that we could look at a lot of different situations in a playful way,” she said.
[...link to full article]

News release

News release
9 October 2012, Vancouver

Artist Germaine Koh launches “League” for invented sports and games in Elm Park

  • Who:    Germaine Koh, artist in Vancouver Park Board Field House Studio Residency Project
  • What:   “League”, a new group for playing invented sports and games
  • Where:  Elm Park, 5800 Elm Street at West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC
  • When:   Tuesday afternoons and last Sunday each month (28 October, 25 November…)

As one of seven new residencies in the Vancouver Park Board Field House Studio Residency Project, artist Germaine Koh is launching the new community-based project “League” at Elm Park in Vancouver-Kerrisdale. League will be an open weekly gathering for the purpose of playing sports and games invented by members of the community. Each game, its playing field and its strategies will evolve through trial and improvisation, and new and unusual equipment may be invented.

For two years beginning October 2012, Germaine Koh will be using the field house in Elm Park, located at 41 Avenue and Elm Street in Kerrisdale, as home base for the League project and a studio for her art practice. Everyone is welcome to drop in to participate or propose a game for the group to try. League will be meeting in the park weekly (Tuesday afternoons 3pm to dusk until further notice) to workshop new sports and games, and organizing larger weekend events once a month, some with special guests from the worlds of sport, art and games. The first large event will take place on Sunday 28 October beginning at noon. The project blog at http://league-league.org hosts a schedule, discussion, research on play and games, and League documentation.

League is conceived as a project that will inspire city residents of diverse backgrounds and generations to come together to play, to think imaginatively, and to act collaboratively in response to the challenges posed by different game situations. All are welcome, whether they identify as athletes, creative people, both — or neither. The project is based in a belief that play is an essential human tendency that is related on one hand to problem-solving and negotiation skills and on another to a pure pursuit of joy. League participants will be encouraged to tweak typical game structures, to bring into play unexpected objects, to think widely about possible spaces for play, to pursue unconventional approaches to sport, and to tackle situations with both mind and body.

Germaine Koh, recipient of the 2010 VIVA Award for mid-career artists, is an internationally active Vancouver-based artist who works in many media, including interactive electronic installations, long-term process-based projects, and ephemeral situations in public space. She is known for artwork that examines under-valued aspects of daily life — for example the life-long project Knitwork, an ever-growing blanket knit from unraveled used garments, and the installation Fallow, in which she transplanted a vacant lot into an art gallery. Koh also has a long background in sport, currently playing roller derby for the All-Stars team that represents Vancouver’s Terminal City Rollergirls in inter-league play. League is the latest of many projects by Koh that focus on play or social interaction and shift habitual patterns of behaviour.

The Vancouver Park Board Field House Studio Residency Project was expanded this fall to encompass nine previously-vacant field houses in city parks. According to the City of Vancouver news release, artists for each field house were selected from more than 50 applications in response to a public call for proposals. The Park Board is providing use of the studio spaces in exchange for community arts based engagement. “The studio residencies will enhance the Park Board’s arts policy objective of arts in everyday life and contribute to addressing the City of Vancouver cultural plan priority of neighbourhood arts and the objective of supporting more creative spaces for artists.” For more information on the Field House Residency Project, contact the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.



  • League project: Germaine Koh, league [at] germainekoh [dot] com
  • Vancouver Park Board Field House Studio Residency Project: Daria Wojnarski, Communications Coordinator, tel. (604) 257-8440, daria.wojnarski [at] vancouver [dot] ca.

City of Vancouver press release

City of Vancouver press release

More than 30 local artists set to work out of Park Board field houses

October 2 2012

More than 30 local artists, including internationally renowned visual artist Germaine Koh and composer/double bassist Mark Haney, have been selected to participate in the Vancouver Park Board’s artist studio residency project in seven locations.

“The arts are critical to a community’s quality of life,” says Park Board Chair Sarah Blyth. “The studio space will provide a supportive, creative environment where artists can develop their work, engage residents and increase participation in the arts.”

Germaine Koh, winner of the 2010 VIVA award, will use the Elm Park field house as the home base for the community-based project League. League will be a weekly gathering of people who come together to play sports and games invented by members of the public. Participants will attempt to play with the guidelines, equipment and spaces suggested, and will further adapt the game, evolve strategies, and invent new equipment through trial and improvisation.

[... link to full release]

Launching League

League is launching in Fall 2012. We’ll be based at Elm Park in Vancouver, thanks to the Vancouver Park Board Studio Residency Program.

Here’s how the project is envisioned:

League will be a changing group of people who gather regularly to play sports and games invented by themselves or conceived by members of the public. League members will attempt to play with the suggested guidelines/equipment/space, and will further develop the game as they play, with the expectation that it will evolve, and strategies emerge, through trial and improvisation. The advantages and weaknesses of different approaches will emerge and be incorporated organically into the play.

Commonplace sports and play equipment, markers and everyday objects will be available, and new tools might be invented on the fly.

League will be a sort of sandbox for experiments around improvisation, performance, co-operation, and strategy. The process of learning, adapting and evolution through iteration is central to the overall concept. The project is founded in a belief in the value of emergent behaviour and the process of making sense of things. It views games, sport and play as serious forms of problem-solving that may be more complete than approaches which privilege the mental over the physical. League might attract participants who are adaptable and have a tolerance for (or even attraction to) uncertainty, provisional process, negotiation, and unconventional approaches to problems. They may or may not identify as athletes, but are expected to bring all faculties of the mind and body to their play.

More news is coming soon. Check “League events” in the menu.
Germaine Koh aka PLAYER 1

Elm Park field house