Electron Dance
26Mar/192

Podcast: The Floor is Lava


Ivan Brett is the author of The Floor is Lava, a book which contains 99 games to play with family and friends. They're organised in chapters for different situations and moods like when you're stuck in a traffic jam, something to play after dinner or perhaps you're just looking for a straight-up party game. From Cat Eats Mouse, to Shut Your Eyes and Adjectival Animals - there's a lot of great stuff in here.

Ivan also hosts The Floor is Lava podcast that acts as a companion to the book. In each episode, he invites a guest on to play a bunch of games. And there are definitely no videogames to be found. Ivan and his guest can be duelling with words, spinning mad fiction or simply debating the finer points of the world's top five milks. Each game really only has one rule: that it must be fun.

I had been feeling it had been awhile since I had engaged with the more broader definition of games. No colourful graphics. No whoosing and beeping. No controllers. No fancy tech at all. When Ivan announced he was looking for podcast guests I put my hand up without hesitation.

So this week I am the guest on The Floor is Lava and on a scale of one to fun it was fun! You can get the podcast through Stitcher, iTunes or Spotify. Alternatively, you can listen via the embedded Stitcher player below.

Check out Ivan Brett's website and you can follow him on Twitter here.

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  1. Interesting idea for a book. It puts me in mind of two things –

    The games the characters play in Cabin Pressure, aka the best Radio 4 sitcom, the Actually Good One That Was Good and Existed, No Really*

    The phrase ‘there are no boring places, only boring people’

    Which is one of those smug indictments of everyone, everywhere, that we be able to perform at a moment’s notice, that we all have a joke, or a game, or a story, or an icebreaker to hand to keep the boring moment or the awkward silence at bay. I sometimes feel that the metagame in any social situation is that if someone starts looking at their phone, everyone’s lost.

    Which in my moany way is me saying that I’ll probably end up buying the book! After all who doesn’t want a helping hand in these situations, like Armando Iannuci’s little bits of paper.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KclC9DKNaZE

    * and also the lists compiled by the characters in High Fidelity, and the pranks played on Gareth by Tim and Dawn in The Office, and the war against infinite existential bleakness waged by the characters of your common or garden Sam Beckett play. Resourcefulness as a slayer of workday tedium is a standout quality of a certain kind of fictional hero, and in this art may well be imitating life.

  2. That Armando Iannuci sketch is brilliant – I hadn’t seen it before.

    I think in some of these games, there is still the pressure to *perform* particularly on a podcast! Although Ivan said I should take my time and he was going to edit out pauses, I still felt I need to find Good Answers that make the podcast stand out. Be a guest that people want to listen to, you know?

    The book is good – I think Gregg has a copy too – and we’ve definitely tried out a few of the games.


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