• Linux Play

last modified May 5, 2017 by strypey


Linux Play was a series of mutual aid sessions, where software freedom activists gathered to help each other learn about GNU-Linux and other free code software. Sessions took place on a weekly basis, at Oblong, a community run internet cafe and infoshop in the Left Bank arcade, in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington, NZ). Unlike the local Linux Users Group, a monthly meet up which mainly involved advanced GNU-Linux users sharing advanced server skills in an imposing corporate office building, Linux Play was modeled on the GLU (GNU-Linux Users) group in the Sydenham suburb of Ōtautahi, which was designed to be accessible to beginners learning to use GNU-Linux as a desktop OS.

The name Linux Play was a spin on "water play", a jargon phrase from pre-school childcare that refers to letting kids play with stuff that involves getting wet. It referenced the idea that the sessions were intended to be a fun and sociable "playshop" rather than a serious, formal "workshop".

The session were up and running by late 2006, as recorded in the Magnetic Fridge Diary, a monthly publication that featured events of interest to local activists. In 2007, a Linux Play email discussion list was set up, hosted by FreeLists.org. This confirms my memory that Linux Play sessions finished up at the end of 2007, and although there were attempts made to reboot them in some form at Oblong, this never happened.