Playful: Game Design London

Event Info

Fri 31 Oct, 2008 from 9:30am - 6:00pm
Conway Hall
Red Lion Square
London, UK
Cost: £25 per person


Playful: Game Design London will be a day of talking about videogames and playful things, and exploring how to make them more meaningful to more people, as well as how to apply game design and play across different disciplines. Television needs games for the web, web design needs elements of play, and advertisers need the communities that come together through gaming.

The event will promote lively debate on the nature of games: what they mean to different people – both
inside and outside the industry. Focusing on the creative and cultural dimensions, Playful examines
game design as both a discipline and craft, offering different perspectives on its current and future

Rob Cooper, Ubisoft’s Managing Director for Northern Europe said: “Ubisoft believes that creativity and innovation is the most important function of our business at the moment. Playful provides a unique
foundation to look at ways we can all push the boundaries of game design and interactive storytelling,
and we are really excited to be supporting this event as part of the London Games Festival Fringe.”

Iain Tate, co-founder of top London design agency Poke said, “All this play is doing funny things to us. Games are creating experience, interface and playfulness expectations. We all need to care about
games. And perhaps we need to think about them a little differently.”

Now in it’s third year, Playful (previously known as Sense Of Play) 2008 has a line-up that is second to

Toby Barnes, Managing Director of Pixel-Lab (producers of the event), said: “We’re really pleased to have such a wide range of people coming who are all so passionate about games and their important
cultural role. They have all got their own things to show that will entertain and inspire those who attend,
and also light the way for future discussions on the important role of Game Design and play in a range
of disciplines.”

The day begins at 9:30AM and is packed full of speakers. Roo Reynolds will be showing us how to
hack a Guitar Hero guitar to make a real playable MIDI instrument; James Wallis (Spaaace) will tell us how all modern gaming can be traced back to a short piece of experimental writing from the mid-60’s; and Tanya Krzywinska is coming from Brunel University to talk about Horror and games.

…and that’s all before 11AM. Playful is also over the moon to have Iain Tate (Poke), Russell Davies
(Interesting), Chris Delay (Introversion), Adrian & Dan Hon (Six To Start), Jolyon Webb (Blitz Games Studios), and more covering subjects from procedural cities to games in social media. Iain Tate and Russell Davies will also team up over lunch to serenade the audience with their Nintendo DS powered Electroplankton Orchestra – another display of musical games being used for things other than what they were invented for.

“Games and ‘the real world’ are increasingly overlapping in some interesting ways,” says Roo Reynolds, “They are interfacing more and more, and Playful is the place to discover what that means, and where we can go with it.”