The Come Out and Play Festival is a street games fesitval dedicated to exploring new styles of games and play.

Come Out & Play 2006 in New York City

Hot Books
Hot Books augments the New York Public Library into a social play space where players gain points by attaching books to each other.

Location: New York Public Library, The Humanities and Social Sciences Branch. 5th Ave and 42nd St.
#of players: 30
Duration: 2-3 hours URL:

Libraries are dying spaces. Hot Books is a game designed to bring life back into libraries by forcing players to explore, discover and share the deserted and unexplored spaces that make up a library.

Hot Books is a game where players “attach” books to each other. The game play of Hot Books takes place over the internet. Each player starts by creating a profile for himself. Other players then attach book titles to that profile and gain a point. If a player wants to detach a book from his profile, he has to go to the library and find a specific word in that book, which allows him to detach the book. Once the player detaches the book, he can attach it to any other player.

The game augments the library into a social space –where books are re-imagined into social markers that creates a new experience of exploring a library.

Hot Books bridges a physical library with an internet social network, and the result is a game that brings a library to life while at the same time is non-disruptive, and in fact invisible, to the already fragile library environment.

This version of Hot Books will be played in the New York Public Library.

Official Ruleset

Sample Gameplay:

  • Player A will go to the New York Public Library,
  • find a book,
  • write down the call number, title and key of the book,
  • then enter these values along with a target on the “ATTACH BOOK” page.
  • If Player A chose Player B as the target player, Player B will go to the
    New York Public Library and find the book’s key.
  • If successful in detaching the book, Player B can attach the book
    another player.


  • POINTS: When Player A attaches a book to Player B, Player A will gain a point, and Player B will lose a point.
  • ONE BOOK: There is only one book, such that if Player C attaches a book to Player A that is already attached to player B, Player A loses a point (which Player C gets) and Player B gains a point because the book is no longer attached to him.
  • KEYS: To attach and detach a book, a player must have the right key for the book. The irst player to enter a book gets to decide on the books key, and must describe where the key is located in the book. (i.e. “First word, second paragraph, page 42?)

    Player Requirements (supplies)

    NYPL Access card. Its free and easy to get, you just have to show up at the library and request one.

    Players will need internet access to be able to play the game. There are computers in the library that can be used.

    Players might want to bring a cell phone to receive SMS alerts during the game. This can be helpful, but is not required.

    Designers: Nick Reid

    Nick Reid is a 3rd year undergraduate at UC Berkeley. He has been described as an art kid, a video kid, a designer, and a social gamer but he still doesn’t know if these terms are right. In short, he is young, playful and curious.