Got A Sense Of Wonder?

Just wanted to give a shout-out to this September’s Tokyo Game Show and the current call for submissions for Sense Of Wonder Night, which I’ve been associated with for the past few years.

As a Gamasutra story about last year’s SoWN (which I sadly missed!) explains, the showcase is to “discover new and unconventional game concepts that “catch people by surprise and give them a Sense of Wonder — a sense that something will change in their world — right at the instant of seeing or hearing the concept.'”

There are up to ten Japanese, Asian and Western games showcased yearly. Previous notable Western games that have also been Sense Of Wonder Night exhibitors —  with onstage presentations simultaneously translated to Japanese and English — include Shadow Physics, PixelJunk Eden, The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom, and Moon Stories.

And for those wanting to check out previous honorees for the innovative games showcase taking place in Tokyo during September’s Tokyo Game Show, here’s the list of 2010 finalists and my write-up of 2009’s SoWN (there’s also YouTube videos) and of 2008’s event.

Inspired by GDC’s long-running Experimental Gameplay Workshop in highlighting innovative concepts in gaming, I think Sense Of Wonder Night is a bright spot for Japan in highlighting alternative genres.

And after last year’s SoWN got scant Western media coverage, I’m planning to both judge and cover the honorees this year – the titles shown there are genuinely interesting, and the showcase format is a lot of fun. (There seem to have been some changes in the SoWN judging committee, with new ‘Company Awards’ and some higher-profile companies like Hudson and Microsoft judging, so we’ll see how that shifts things up this year.)

But most importantly, the call for submissions is open until July 11th, so if you’d like to submit to SoWN and can get yourself over to Tokyo on your on dime to present at Sense Of Wonder Night in mid-September, go ahead and put your game forward.

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