The Donut

What is the Donut?

The Donut is Go Play NW’s pitch circle/muster-style pick-up-and-play event. It’s a tool for getting people together to play games on the spot, without scheduling them in advance.

At Go Play NW we make it our mission to ensure that everyone gets to play a game—we want all of our attendees to have the opportunity to game every session. Since we don't always have enough scheduled games planned in advance, the Donut provides those opportunities.

When you join the Donut, you’re taking a chance. You might not get into exactly the game you want, but there will be a guaranteed spot for everyone to play. Many folks have found great games they would never have discovered by joining games that weren’t their first choice! However, by joining the Donut, you’ve made no promise to play. If you don’t like the available options, you can always bow out.

Simply put: it’s a great way to meet new friends and games!

What is the Lottery?

Sometimes the schedule will have a Lottery instead of a normal Donut. For the Lottery, we'll put everyone's name badges in a box and mix them together, then draw out four at a time to randomly group people together for the game session. Each group will then decide among themselves what game they'll play together. This provides a fun opportunity to meet new people and play games with groups you might not have been in before!

Donut FAQ

When is the Donut?
How do I sign up for a Donut?
How does the Donut work?
Tips for a good Donut
How can I help with the Donut?

When is the Donut?

In person, the Donut runs every scheduled game session at Go Play NW.

How do I sign up for a Donut?

There's no need to sign up in advance!

Once you're checked in at the Registration Table, all you need to do is keep an eye out at the Donut Station for us to call the Donut to order at the beginning of each session. When you start to see the crowd gather, you'll know it's time!

How does the Donut work?

Historically, facilitators wishing to pitch a game for play would stand in a circle facing, and surrounded by an outer ring of interested players in a donut shape. Now, when we run the Donut in-person, we call up a line of facilitators from an audience, and we don’t require folks to stand to participate.

Here’s how the Donut goes down

  1. At the start of each Donut, everyone who wants to participate gathers at the Donut Station.
  2. The Donut assistant takes a headcount, and the Donut MC calls the Donut to order.
  3. The MC then asks for a number of volunteer facilitators to fit the available number of players and guide these volunteers in pitching games they’re excited to run to the rest of the Donut.
  4. Once everyone who wants to has given their pitch, players choose which facilitator they want to play with and gather around that facilitator accordingly.
  5. We give priority space and time to players who need that time to move during this gathering time. Sometimes certain games are more or less popular. In the instance that a game is overfull or doesn’t fill, the Donut MC will try to help players and facilitators find a solution that works best for them.
  6. Players and facilitators find a table (sometimes with a Volunteer’s help) and play their games!

Tips for a good Donut

  • If you’re new to pitch circles/musters, we recommend you don’t pitch a game your first time. Games need players and facilitators to run, and it can help to watch before doing.
  • If there’s a game you really want to see played in the Donut, the best way to make that happen is to pitch it!
  • Don’t worry if you forget some information in your pitch. The Donut MC will help by providing prompts when you need them.
  • Don’t feel up to pitching but still have a burning need to play? If the Donut is low on facilitators, sometimes requesting a game can be all the inspiration someone needs.
  • Don’t like public speaking? We’d love to put your game on our events schedule. Submit a game here!
  • You are never obligated to play in any games at Go Play NW. Joining the Donut does not require you to join a game. It’s always ok to bounce!

How can I help with the Donut?

Although games in the Donut are spontaneous, you can help things run smoothly by preparing a bit ahead of time.

Here are a few ways you can support the Donut:

  1. Volunteer with us! Go Play NW is always looking for helpers! Find out more about how to volunteer for the Donut here.
  2. Think about games you want to pitch! Facilitators are an essential part of the Donut! Without them, there would be no games.
  3. Play a game! Games don’t work without players. You don’t have to facilitate a game to help out; just show up with enthusiasm and openness to meet new people and try new games!

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