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15 October 2006

It is apple day here in Devon. Last year my family had a wonderful time at Killerton House where we tasted all sorts of apples that we didn’t even know existed. In particular, I remember a group of very (very) old ladies fighting for the last bag of Spartans. I tried them since and do agree that they are worth fighting for. In the meantime, I arrive at the canal where I wish to pickup a drum kit since I gave mine to BARNEY and still hope that I would, at some point, be able to play at the Locarno – something I’ve wanted to do since the beginning of the game (I wonder now whether this may have something to do with the fact that my first ever boyfriend was a drummer).

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I arrive at the Locarno and notice that while BERLIN is wondering whether to leave, SCOOBY is still worried about BARNEY. We try some Killerton cider (which as an Italian I find a difficult taste) and then decide that I need to find BARNEY before going anywhere else. I struggle to cope with the phone, the camera, the cider, my daughter’s two plastic mobile phones, which she has started carrying around, I suppose, just to be like mamma. SCOOBY ‘knows’ that BARNEY has collapsed near Kath’s Café and suggests that we all go to help him. I decide that I should get BARNEY a saveloy as soon as possible.

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I arrive at Ron’s Top Chip Shop and get a saveloy for BARNEY who was my travelling companion earlier in the game. I don’t care if this means that I’ll loose my drum kit, which I wanted to play for such a long time. I have a soft spot for BARNEY and am glad to be able to help him again. We watch some folk music and dancing, and my daughter’s friend arrives. They have a fantastic time between the music, the apples, tons of honey fudge and this exotic mixture of English and US folk dancing.

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I arrive at Kath’s Café but realise it’s shut now. BARNEY, as SCOOBY predicted, is here, wearing a wristband. JONATHAN is also here. BARNEY is happy to see me and even happier to see that I have a saveloy for him. Interestingly, he knows what a saveloy is. When I first met BARNEY he asked lots of questions – now he seems to know a lot about the game. I wish that I could meet this player and ask them questions about their experience of this piece. Since JONATHAN is also run down, I suggest that we go and get him a saveloy too – the last I hear from him is ‘yes, let’s go but actually what is a saveloy?’ This makes me smile as I recall the days in which I too did not know what a saveloy was. We arrive at Ron’s Top Chip Shop and I pickup another saveloy. It could be useful later, I think. If JONATHAN makes it here, there’s plenty more for him too. However, as there is no sign of him, I move on.

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We get back home and my daughter plays with our neighbour’s daughter again. Some interesting toy swapping occurs, which reminds me of Day of the Figurines. Here, objects are exchanged all the time. Harmless objects can become weapons. Awful food can rescue lives. I seem to be spending all my time now picking up, using or passing on saveloys to players in trouble. This has clearly become my function in the game. I am a sausage dispenser. In this act of giving, I realise, however, that I establish strong and even lasting bonds with other players. Remember your Mauss? I wonder – do the same rules of exchange apply within the setting of this game as they do in the real? In other words, are our social rules strong enough to pervade the world of Day of the Figurines, or do, whilst playing a pervasive game, at least some of the rules of the game pervade our social relations in the real world?

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In the meantime, I arrive at the Vic. The windows are dark and CAROLE is here, though still not talking. There is no indication of the fact that she is strong. Maybe her health has deteriorated. I won’t give her my saveloy because I don’t even know if she is still engaged. There are limits to generosity! I then move on to the Big Chef. This also is shut. I have no idea where to go from here.

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To follow my game tomorrow go to Day of the Figurines 16/10/2006

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