Time Out Melbourne

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If you think the job “professional game-maker” sounds good, wait till you hear what Robert Reid has in store for you…

Robert Reid wants adults to start having more fun. The professorial game-maker specialises in giving big people the sort of experiences many thought had been left behind in the schoolyard. Reid's business, Melbourne-based Pop Up Playground, is hosting the Fresh Air Festival, which promises to bring fun to people who haven't jumped rope since they discovered beer.

"We're taught that play is only for children yet it's just as important for adults to develop our social skills and help our development," he tells Time Out, "but because play is fun, it's deemed frivolous and we don't get to hone those skills."

Fresh Air Festival will host four days of physical activities that are designed to test the body and mind. There's 'Attack the Block' and 'Zombie Tag' – which test reflexes and bring out childhood joy – then there are games that promote constructive play, or fitness, or hone your street smarts.

"People are really creative; just give them the space and they will make the most incredible things," Reid says.

Reid got into the game-making business several years ago, when he stumbled upon the work of Tassos Stephens, who has made a career out of free play. Not long after, Pop Up Playground was hosting its own workshops at the National Gallery of Victoria.

It's "very entertaining" to watch people dressed in work gear pretend to run away from make-believe monsters or act like a secret agent, he says. And it’s not hard to get people involved. "Everyone remembers how to play. You just need to give it a try again. The more you watch, the more you want to play."

By Alana Schetzer   |  

Pop Up Playground's Fresh Air Festival details

Swanston St, Melbourne 3000

Telephone 03 9655 1900

Nearby Stations: Flinders Street

Price FREE
More free events

Date 07 Mar 2014-10 Mar 2014

Open 11am-late

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