Tomsk State University has begun the ethnocultural workshop “Siberian-style”. It examines the phenomenon of traditional youth games from a scientific, social, and musical point of view. The guests and participants of the workshop are scientists, musicians, game practitioners, and everyone interested in the ethnic and national culture of the peoples of Siberia.
The opening of the workshop gathered all the participants, and the festival’s symbol – a clay character, who received the name “Yakvlch”, was invented there. Each participant attached a button made by hand to the sheepskin coat he was wearing, also from clay. After “Yakvlch” goes through the firing process, it will be decided exactly where this new university inhabitant will live.
The events of the workshop can be combined in seven directions, each representing its approach to the study of the game. On the Play as Science site, experts and guests analyze folk youth games, extracting from them their game mechanism, the skeleton. At the Ethnographic Designer site, participants create new games based on these mechanisms – board, role-playing, and children’s games. After that, participants and guests can play the newly created games. The game as technology was considered at an expert seminar, where they talked about the relevance of the folk game culture in the modern youth environment.
– We see that young people have an interest in such a heritage. After all, the theme of the game is quite universal, we can recall the classic that “our whole life is a game”, – says Alexey Vasilyev, head of the TSU Social and Youth Policy Department. – Game mechanics are more than actively used today. This is specially developed, of course, in the digital space, on the Internet. But young people, in particular, have a huge demand for live communication, including tactile communication. Traditional folk culture provides such opportunities in the best way.
One of the most unusual events of the festival will be the Theater of Living History. Pre-selected participants will become heroes of a role-playing game based on the history of the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The organizers of the event took care not only of the legend and roles but also of the appropriate surroundings – clothes were prepared for each participant, restored according to the ethnographic samples of the corresponding era.
– In preparation for the festival, we worked with ethnographically accurate information: we relied on sources, on expeditionary materials, – emphasizes Alexey Vasiliev. – We interact very closely with the Faculty of Historical and Political Studies. At the opening of the ethnic practicum Professor Vyacheslav Shevtsov made an introductory report on the games that existed in Siberia. Today, in the game design studio, he will also talk about it more extensively.