I'd like to comment on this, if I may:
On Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 3:04 PM, Dale Sheldon <dales@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Origins is June 25-29 this year. [...]
> If we're using these games to _demo_ Ichouse, that's one thing; but I
> don't think that's what were about. [...]
When those seasonal "triggers" were envisioned, the conflict with con schedules was pointed out. Folks suggested using the IGDC to gain interest; others rebutted by saying that could cause 'inferior' games to be seen by newbies and reflect poorly on the overall Icehouse System. Then, and now, I felt that the best compromise was to demo the PREVIOUS competition's top three (or five or whatever, if tight races), while informing punters that these are player-designed games and pointing them (via a card or what-not) to the current IGDC--"Go get involved! But you'll need a few sets of these, first...."
Point being: high-ranked, good games--let's take that as a given, please, OK?--get shown; the player-invention and community elements are played up; and the punters are sent on their way with A Mission that can only be fulfilled by buying some sets. And, sure, do all the other stuff with 'classic' games like Icehouse, Zendo, etc. (A Zendo demo at GenCon sold me; I bought all eleven stashes within the next handful of months.)
But having had a... rough... demo at DragonCon, using a past IGDC submission that wasn't (shall we say) 'fully baked,' I can say with some experience that it doesn't help the image of TH/IH to demo untested games with new players.