RPS And Chums At The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The world’s largest arts festival officially started today in Edinburgh, with literally thousands of comedians, actors, artists, authors, poets, singers, dancers, and goodness knows what else across all sorts of disciplines and spin-off festivals. They claim the Scottish capital’s population doubles in August for the Fringe. It’s all a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re staring at the vast listings brochure. Who to see? Some friends of RPS, obviously. Several of our columnists, feature writers, and pals are at the Fringe this year, so why not check out what we’re up to?

Robert Florence

Our Cardboard Children columnist is here for Burnistoun Live, based on him and Iain Connell’s BBC Scotland sketch show. That site makes it look sold out but who knows, maybe tickets will magically appear from somewhere. If not…

He’s also here for Rab’s Videogame Empty on Saturday, August 27th. He’s had a few Empties in Glasgow before, and I understand they’re some combination of chat show, stage show, music, larking about, and playing video games?

Cara Ellison

Cara wrote oodles of odds and ends for RPS, including her S.EXE column, before circling the globe writing Embed With Games then started making games. She’s also my flatmate. Hi, Cara! (She informs me that she did not pick any of these event titles.)

On Thursday, August 25th, as part of the Book Festival she’ll be part of The End of Gender. “In this event, we hear the work of authors writing about the persecution of people who challenge gender norms,” says the official word. That’s free, that one.

On Friday, August 26th, also in the Book Festival, she’ll be teaming up with Simon Parkin (who… contributed to a Gaming Made Me panel years ago? we’ve had a distinct defecit of Parko) to talk about games and their books in Is Video Gaming Killing Us? I’m guessing the answer is nah, not really.

For schools and young people, on Wednesday, August 24th, as part of the Book Festival’s Baillie Gifford Schools Programme is ‘The Mad World of Gaming’. This is for schools, obvs, but maybe you’re a teacher looking to introduce pupils to new cusses?

Hannah Nicklin

Hannah wrote the excellent A Psychogeography of Games series on RPS.

Until the 27th (with Wednesdays off) she’s at Summerhall performing Equations for a Moving Body. It’s a storytelling theatre piece about training for, and finishing, an ‘ironman’ triathlon – a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bicycle ride then a full 26.2 mile marathon. I saw a preview and really liked it but hey, she’s my pal and staying in my flat so I’ll point you at a review.

Alice O’Connor

(Photo by Emi Spicer)

Oh! Hello. Cara tells me that we’ll be playing some songs we like for a bit during the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival’s Closing Party on Sunday, August 28th. I’ll also be dicking about with some ‘visuals’? A bit of the old ‘sound & vision’. We’ve not started on our setlist but Girls Aloud are guaranteed.

But you, reader dear, who would you recommend this month? My list of things to see only has seventy-ish items on it so far so I could certainly use a few more.


  1. Jakkar says:

    This is not the RPS I once knew. It is the RPS I feared inevitable when almost all the old crew had moved on.

    • KingFunk says:

      What? That comment is far too vague to be meaningful as criticism. If you have specifics to say, say them.

    • Sarfrin says:

      Engaging with the public in person? Having interests outside video games? Down with that sort of thing!

    • RaoulDuke says:

      I feel the same way, I highly recommend “The Easy Allies” on youtube. They remind me of myself when I was 18 years old and played games and got *so excited* about new releases. Their E3 footage shows the passion I speak of, but I don’t think it’s for everyone.

      They have varied opinions and likes as a group and they often disagree, but in the best manner ever, totally civilly, they are great guys to “hang out with”.

    • kwyjibo says:

      I blame Brexit.

    • Jac says:

      Woe is truly you.

    • Shuck says:

      Yes, Jakkar, your worst fears have come to pass – RPS has gone Scottish! It’s all bagpipes and haggis from here on, laddie.

    • GWOP says:

      RPS is lucky to have every single person up there as her writer, and the founding four will tell you the same.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:


  2. DailyFrankPeter says:

    I used to work right down that pend (close) in the first picture!

    • dangermouse76 says:

      Where ? I used to live 148 cowgate near there. Glad I dont anymore.My god it was like having the festival in your room EVERY DAY.

  3. Durkonkell says:

    I miss Cara’s words. One day I should like to hear her say things, but not this time as Edinburgh is SOME DISTANCE away.

  4. Deano2099 says:

    Gamers could do worse than checking out:
    Knightmare Live: exactly what it sounds like, Knightmare but real and played in front of an audience.
    The MMORPG show: new thing from the creators of Knightmare Live , looks to be a sort of improv dungeon crawl.
    Board Game Smackdown: comedians play each other at board games live in front of an audience (FREE)
    Operation Dead-drop: a live game played daily outside in Old Town, involving solving clues, hiding from enemy agents and other such fun. By one of the cities best escape room companies.

  5. Synesthesia says:

    I’m jealous.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    When Alice started I kind of felt she was a poor Nathan (sorry Alice!) but she’s actually a Nathan on super funny lovely steroid juice.

  7. unitled says:

    I’d love to do another RPS meet up in Edinburgh, I met a couple of the regulars (and an old friend from Uni!) a few months ago, would be cool to do that again!

  8. Web Cole says:

    I heartily recommend:

    Sam Simmons – if you like absurdist prop comedy (you do) and assorted silliness you cannot go wrong with Sam Simmons.

  9. YourNextVictim says:

    As said above I’d heartily recommend the MMORPG show for any tabletop RPG lovers. That being said I’m up with a show called Improvabunga which is a long-form improv show and we have done video game shows in the past!