It was the best of times. It was the worst of timetabling. Somehow, in the videogame cultural desert that is the UK, two progressive, forward looking and fun videogame events got scheduled in the same week.
Nottingham’s GameCity, in its second year, “explores videogames in new ways, trying to uncover the most interesting parts of their culture and inviting you to join in. You’ll find games to play, speakers to hear and talk with, music to dance to and plenty of surprises. We hope you’ll discover something you’ll love”. Meanwhile, the London Games Festival features “diverse events in different venues for different audiences. Whether you’re a gamer, a parent needing advice on games, someone working in the industry, or just want to find out more about how games work and where the future of entertainment will take us, this is a festival for you.” Which makes you think that the Nottingham one, with clear Indie Cred, would be the one the always-ready-to-posture RPS would back up.
It’s certainly what GameCity organiser, the ever-sharp Iain Simmons would argue. “The fact that we’re independent gives us a mandate to do anything we want”, he argues in his GamesIndustry.biz interview. “From what I can gather, we’re trying to do quite different things.” he continues, “The fact that we’re independent and we’re not industry run – not instigated by ELSPA or a publisher’s point of view – gives us a mandate to do anything we want.” Except it’s not that simple. The London Festival is of such a size that it has its own Fringe. Our contacts inside argue that they’re probably just as “independent” as GameCity, and the events are mostly free to get into.
So, being videogames, the only way to settle this is a HEAD TO HEAD DEATHMATCH WHERE I AWARD POINTS FOR RANDOM BITS OF THEIR PROGRAM WHICH CATCH MY EYE.
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