I’m glad to see old school model railroad enthusiasm like that showcased in Model Trains and H. G. Wells’ Floor Games is alive and well in our era. I stumbled on this video at MetaFilter. No doubt I’m the last to know Lego trains are a big, big thing.
Last week the old post The Museum and The Gallery? was getting a lot of hits. Two later posts that followed up on some of the ideas presented there, Notes on the characteristics of gallery and Museum and gallery and studio, got a few hits too, but not enough to register as ‘active’ posts. Looking back on them I think there is something to those ideas, but they need more development; they certainly need more examples at the very least. One thing I’d definitely add is a further sub-group connected up with Gallery and Studio called something like Trains Preserve for things like Lego Trains.
The general idea of the Trains Preserve is a riff on the Games Preserve idea Bernard DeKoven introduced in The Well-Played Game: A Player’s Philosophy back in ’78. This was the pre-video game era and a Games Preserve was meant to be a space for people to freely play games and was to be stocked with physical games of all sorts. His personal Games Preserve was primarily located in a barn on his farm and must have been an amazing place according to these descriptions from the book: big carpeted area for dancing and big games; rings if anybody wanted to fly a little; a puzzle wall: picture puzzles, puzzles that you have to take apart, puzzles that you try to put together, ancient puzzles, new puzzles; quite games area, it represents a veritable fortune in games, two hundred different games here; pool table; Ping-Pong table; there are a few hundred more games over there. He sums it up as: this is a toy store and an arcade and a gym and a chess club and a place to dance and whatever else you want it to be all under one roof.
A Trains Preserve wouldn’t necessarily be a dedicated building stocked with copious amounts of all sorts of model trains - as terrific as that may be :-) - but any place or space where a model train free-for-all could be setup and run; temporary or permanent. That used to be a staple of Model Trains. Long live Lego trains!