Thursday 10 November 2016

Winner of the GameCity Spirit of the Festival Award

Autumn 2016 has been a busy season for me and Codex Bash! September saw me jetting off to Abu Dhabi to run it at an A MAZE popup at the Discrict Me festival. October took me to GameCity in Nottingham to run it as part of the fringe, as well as running a brand new project called The Incredible Playable Show. Then in November I turned to bustling Hamburg to show Codex Bash at the Play16 festival, where I also ran Go! Power Team! complete with morphsuits.

In particular, The Incredible Playable Show was a roaring success, and I took from it a great many lessons about how digital games where we take them into completely new contexts. And it saw me earn the coveted Spirit of the Festival Award at GameCity - a great honour indeed!

To give you a bit of context, The Incredible Playable Show is a stage show made up of physically-active games I have developed, usually involving custom hardware. Members of the audience are invited onto the stage to be players, but the games also involve a lot of interaction from the audience. The human buttons of Go! Power Team! make a return, and are joined by my randomised Mega Drive controller, and a brand new game involving clambering through the audience with a barcode scanner.

Match Me If You Scan in action - photo by Samathy Barratt
I ran six 45-minute shows at GameCity, usually with an audience of 25 to 60 people from a range of age groups. I took the space at GameCity as an opportunity to test out lots of different material and work out what worked best with an audience, but despite it being openly a prototype version of the show it proved very popular with visitors.

Indeed, for my work creating and performing the show, and the success of it and Codex Bash with visitors, I was awarded the GameCity Festival's very first Spirit of the Festival Award.

Thank you very much to the GameCity team for giving me this award - the festival has always been an important date on my calendar, and to receive this kind of affirmation means a lot to me. A massive thank you to the staff at the venue who helped set up the space, take care of technical issues and draw the crowds!

GameCity takes place every October at the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham, UK