It’s the summer (I think) and you can’t swing a broken tent pole for hitting a music festival. Just how many are there? Loads that’s how many. Same goes for film festivals, OK slightly less but still there must be hundreds and thousands of the blighters.
But how many festivals are there about games? Sales of video games exceed music and DVD sales and the hours spent playing them easily outstrips a couple of trips to the cinema, so where are all the festivals?
Cardiff’s very own thinkARK are redressing the balance. Fresh from the success of their PaperGirl project, playARK is taking over Chapter Arts Centre for two days (Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October) with a series of talks, workshops, games and good times.
It’s not just video games though, but games in general such as board games, retro games and physical games and the discussions will focus on how games are much more than mere entertainment, in that they can be used in education and business settings and to tackle anti-social problems.
One of the most exciting parts of playARK 2011 is the debut of everwake, an interactive and pervasive game set in the streets of Canton. Mixing puzzles, theatre, nightmarish intrigue, podcasts and what looks like a bit of running, everwake looks truly unique. Check out the trailer above.
Tickets for everwake are £10 (£8 conc) while the talks on the Friday, featuring guest speakers from across the digital landscape are £30 (£15 conc) with lunch included. The Saturday is games day and is free. The day will include Human Bingo, Cake Hunting and Phone Box Frenzy amongst many other bespoke and new games designed by people across Wales. For a full list and explanations of the games, click here. Also on the day someone will be crowned Retro Player of the Year (now there’s something for the CV) and Welsh graduate game developers will be demoing and showcasing their newest digital titles.
So head on down to Chapter at the end of next month to get knee deep in games rather than mud.