Sunday, May 1, 2016

Through house and garden via Lego Train

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!

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