Now Play This returns, along with several other cultural roles
The London Games Festival 2017 has just announced its line-up, bringing a variety of events mashing games and culture up together and depositing them into England's capital.
The festival runs from 30 March to 9 April, and will be taking place at a variety of venues around the city, starting with indie games show EGX Rezzed.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said in a press release: “Growing the city’s culture and creative industries is so important, and as Mayor, I’m delighted to welcome this year’s London Games Festival, which promises to showcase the best of the city’s imagination, game design and innovation. Home to more than 500 games companies and top talent from around the world, London is right at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, and this exciting festival celebrates the richness of our thriving games industry.”
Below, you can see a selection of the "core" London Games Festival events, with the fringe events to be announced sometime after the deadline for applications closes next week. Some of the more interesting events include a big-screen game playthrough with live music accompanying, Now Play This's return for an extended run at Somerset House, and an eSports tournament aimed at schools.
Dear Esther Live - 7pm, Saturday 1 April, St John’s at Hackney, E5 0PD
London Games Festival will host a revival performance of The Chinese Room’s sell-out show Dear Esther Live ahead of its UK tour later in 2017. The event showcases a big-screen play-through of the Brighton games studio’s award-winning game plus an accompanying live soundtrack performance. The concert takes place at the historic The Church of St John-at-Hackney. Tickets priced at £20 inc VAT (+ booking fee) on sale at https://www.universe.com/lgf-dear-esther-live
Digital Schoolhouse eSports Tournament Grand Final - 10.30am to 3.30pm, Tuesday 4 April, Gfinity Arena, SW6 1BW
Digital Schoolhouse will be hosting the final of the first UK inter-school eSports competition, which has seen 400 secondary and sixth form students across the country taking part. The tournament is designed to promote digital careers and engage students in cross-curricular creative computing. The final will see four regional finalist teams battle it out on Rocket League in the professional studio in front of a live audience. Attendance is invite only, contact Shahneila@ukie.org.uk
Now Play This - 7 April to 9 April, Somerset House, WC2R 1LA
A three-day celebration of games design, featuring over 50 games to play from international artists and respected designers. This year, Somerset House is extending the experience for a month, with a free exhibition, Game Changers: Another Way to Play running until 7 May. More info at nowplaythis.net. Tickets for Now Play This are £8 (under 12s free) and can be bought direct from Somerset House at www.somersethouse.org.uk – or available as part of the LGF Super Pass, which goes on sale from 23 February.
LGF Games Character Parade - 1pm, 8 April, Route TBA
The final Saturday of LGF will see hundreds of games characters take to the streets of London in the very special Games Festival Character Parade. Welcoming both video games-inspired cosplayers and official mascots and characters, this first-of-its-kind games event will see iconic interactive entertainment heroes in even more iconic London locations. More details, including the parade location and other highlights, will be unveiled shortly. But the call for parade participants is open now, information and guidelines at www.games.london/parade