When: 4th – 6th September 2015
Where: New Wing, Somerset House, London
£: Tickets cost £5 or £12 for a weekend pass
What is it?
Somerset House in London will be hosting Now Play This, a weekend of games and play, from 4th to 6th September 2015.
The three-day event will be home to everything games-related with dozens of opportunities to play. From low-fi games such as wooden pinball machines and a room-filling giant paper sculpture, to new digital adventures from artists including French collective Klondike, whose new digital game has players flying across brightly coloured landscapes.
Highlights will include wooden sculptures by Alexander Berchert, featuring a pinball machine and two-player maze, and Line Wobbler by Robin Baumgarten, a one-dimensional game played on a five-metre LED strip; with a spot of light that players have to guide, dodging red lights to make it to the end.
There will be a preview of The Forest of Sleep, showing the game’s scene and character generation. The experimental storytelling/adventure game inspired by Russian fairy tales from Ed Key (Twisted Tree Games) and Nicolai Troshinsky will be released in 2016.
There will be a world premiere of a new digital game from French collective Klondike, in which players fly across brightly coloured landscapes. There will also be a papercraft workshop from Media Molecule, alongside a preview of their game Tearaway Unfolded for PlayStation 4.
The event will showcase over 20 games running throughout the weekend, alongside a board game lounge, a selection of playable books to read, and a changing selection of single and multiplayer video games, many of them currently unreleased. The range of games on offer will cover themes that span intimacy, words, friendship, loss, discovery; single-player games and games to play with friends. For families and children, there will be a specially created crafting game created by museum educator Rosie Fuller.
Kicking off the special events on Friday (2pm to 5pm) will be a mini-conference exploring the nitty-gritty of game design with speakers including Adrian Hon (Six to Start), Marie Foulston (V&A) and Louis Roots (SK Games).
On Saturday from 10am to 2pm, there will be a games showcase with a selection of drop-in games including Maf’j Alvarez’s Rootbeans and Jerry Carpenter’s Magnotron. In the afternoon between 3pm and 8pm, there’ll be scheduled games including Seth Kriebel’s The Unbuilt Room (an interactive theatre piece for six players exploring an imaginary building), Alabama Cornhole (a traditional outdoor game in the US, just recently taking off in the UK) and Foleyoke (a game where players desperately race to make the best sound effects).
Sunday will be a day for experimentation, with a wide range of strange interfaces and contraptions to try out from 10am to 2pm. This will include Yifei Chai’s The Pretender Project, haptic devices from Nassia Inglessis, and Nate Gallardo’s eerie VR game Prowl. From 1pm, a series of workshops will teach visitors everything from how to design a street game to the use of eTextiles.
More info: www.somersethouse.org.uk