Team Wonderush are a pretty up-for-it group of people. We’ve taken on everything from aerial fitness, to African drumming, to art tours of the east end of London. But all the same, as we huddled together in a bar in Belsize Park before going to Antidote’s Playground Games workshop, we felt a little bit of trepidation. Our worries ranged from “will everyone else there be weird?” to “is it wink murder, or wink-wink murder”. As it turned out, the answers were ‘no, of course not’ and ‘obviously it is just-one-wink murder and anyone that thinks otherwise went to a weird effing school’.
The first surprise when we arrived was just how many people were up for getting together that Thursday evening to run around like mad things. The second was exactly how hot and sweaty one can get playing Grandmother’s Footsteps, and the third was just how deeply it mattered that the person you secretly fancied a little bit ‘goosed’ (not like that) you in Duck Duck Goose.
Team Antidote are just about the friendliest people you’ll meet in London, which means the idea of getting deeply involved in a game of stuck in the mud stops being embarrassing and becomes very, very important. Similarly their facilitator for this session, Loose, was a trained clown whose sense of fun and lack of inhibition is pretty infectious. You kind of want them to think you’re doing well, so you try even harder. Or maybe that’s just the teacher’s pet in me.
In our hour and a half session we played classics like Duck Duck Goose, Grandmother’s Footsteps, and Anyone Who, before heading off into the unknown with games where we had to get in touch with our inner ninja, do a bit of mime, and (Gasp. Shock horror.) make eye contact with other people. We ended on a genuinely scary game called The Humless, which is basically a premise for an episode of Doctor Who.
The people watching is amazing too. You quickly get an eye for spotting the quirks of your fellow games players. I had a good ten minutes of silent hysterics when, while playing a game of Anyone Who (where people have to leave their seat and run to another if someone says something that applies to them) one woman ran on the line “Anyone who’s had sex this week” then turned to her husband and said “why didn’t you go?”.
The thing to remember is that Antidote’s whole aim is to steer people towards a more joyful life. They don’t want anyone to be embarrassed, they just want people to have fun. And they definitely manage that. playing old school games in a church hall might not sound super-cool but if this group of cynics and logical, business minds were able to get get into the spirit of it, I think that bodes well for everyone. We’re already reminiscing about the first time, as well as planning our next trip. We have a Grandmother’s Footsteps score to settle.
Antidote’s sessions are just one (very awesome) example of the kind of things you can book through Wonderush. Don’t forget to check out our main site for more details. Just think – this time next week you could be living more awesome.