On the horizon… PAC!
The best teacher…
We’ve been hosting free Jericho games continuously, every month, in San Francisco for the last 10 years. At the same time, we’ve also been designing custom made spy games for every major (and minor!) Silicon Valley start-up in the Bay Area. Without exaggerating, we’ve designed and run hundreds of spy games with thousands of players and while it wasn’t the stated goal when we set out to play spy games in the city, we’ve gotten really good at a few things in these urban settings.
- Spotting people who are waiting in ambush.
- Evading people who are waiting in ambush.
- Finding a place to counter-ambush an attacker.
Actually, it’s not just us, it’s also the many Jericho meetup regulars that have played with us month by month for the last several years that have also received these benefits.
You may not notice it when you’re out on the town with a Jericho vet, but we see things that most people don’t, if we’re paying attention of course. It gives a great sense of confidence to know that you’ve scanned the crowd of people walking towards you and none of them are a threat. This comes from countless urban engagements with people who are trying to eliminate you, albeit with a Nerf gun.
Over the years, I’ve also seen people who haven’t benefited from this experience of urban conflict, especially newcomers to one of our games. They don’t know what to look for, yet are suspicious of everyone… and they are usually an easy kill for a veteran Jericho player.
Earlier this summer, there was a news story about a man who was ambushed walking down the street in an American city and was fatally shot. As I found out more about this crime, I realized that the man could have benefited from the experience that playing Jericho provides, and he probably would still be alive! This story steeled my resolve to help equip others to know how to stay safe.
Pavement Artists Commonwealth
So Foxhound is starting a new venture! We’re revamping our Meetup group to do more and also provide value to people outside of the Bay Area. Don’t worry, we’re still going to be a community that loves spy media so much that we play games, read books, and watch movies together. If anything, we’re supersizing that!
This new venture will be called the Pavement Artists Commonwealth (PAC). Side note; the name Pavement Artist is my nod to an old British expression describing surveillance professionals working for MI5 during the cold war. You might see it in a John LeCarré book or two! My hope is that we can help regular people become more aware of threats in urban environments and know what to do about them. Becoming the star of their own spy movie as they play a Jericho game and have a ton of fun doing it is just icing on the cake!
We have a SubscribeStar page that is going live at the end of the week where you can become a subscriber and gain access to play digital and live Jericho games with us, join spy movie watch parties, and watch much more content that will help you change your thinking about how to stay safe in any big (or small!) city.
We also launched a new PAC YouTube channel last week specifically to give all our new videos a place to live. Videos like the Jericho-in-exile gameplay videos (three have been uploaded already) , new Jericho behind-the-scenes, and also new personal safety videos will be found there.
The Jericho Meetup group will still remain active, but you’ll notice that the frequency of the games is going to change from monthly to quarterly as we go forward and can meet again in person. Monthly games will come through PAC. I’ll keep you updated about this as we open back up.
My hope is that going forward into the future, the Pavement Artists Commonwealth will allow us to continue playing Jericho games in urban settings, make new espionage themed activities, and give you tools to stay safe in your city.
Stay Safe, Stay hopeful,
—The Chief (Shannon)