Now Play This ran for the first time on 4-6 September 2015, in the New Wing of Somerset House. We showed an exhibition of 25 games throughout the weekend, many with custom controllers. This exhibition sat alongside a programme of talks, workshops and special events, with a selection of board games in the cafe, and a library of playful books to read.
Love and Travel in Foreign Lands, by Sam Sheffield.
Head Maze, by Angie Bual and Fergus Dunnett.
Scenes from the Forest of Sleep, a prototype from Twisted Tree Games.
Elbow Room, by Deep Dark Hole. Grapple for the keyboard while you can.
Lumino City by State Of Play. Both game, and handmade models.
Ra’eesah Hassan’s site-specific sculpture Amorphous – the Paper Series.
OASES by Armel Gibson and dziff, with music by bo en
Maze by Alexander Berchert. Race your way through from beginning to end.
The abstract landscapes of Panoramical by Fernando Ramallo & David Kanaga.
Alleyback by Kevan Davis. Find your way back home – before your friend does.
Hohokum by Honeyslug in collaboration with Richard Hogg
Flash Clap, by Ben O Hare and Miyu Hayashi. Capture the moment of your clap.
Fish Fly by Froach Club. Compete head-to-head in a brightly-coloured world.
Broken Sounds by Harrison Smith, Amani Naseem and Lee Shang Lun.
Alabama Cornhole, with locally-made boards for the traditional game.
Fluc by Llaura Ze, DREAMFEEEL. Crawl into a tent and listen.
inflorescence.city by Katie Rose Pipkin and Loren Schmidt. Create your own utopia.
Line Wobbler by Robin Baumgarten. Guide your hero along a five-metre LED path.
Sagittarius, by George Prosser. Competitive archery in space.
Jerry Carpenter draws KB’s Game Toilet, game ideas that will never be made.
Casual Games for Casual Hikers, by Harry Giles. Something for your next walk.
What Is Wrong, by Bob May. Puzzle over enigmatic collages.
Woodlouse by Pete Morrish and Jake Simpson. Obey one simple rule.
Through the Eyes of the Snake by Sam Sheffield. Follow the trail.
Jonathan Whiting’s South West Coast Path, a selection of game poems.
128chargames, a selection of responses to Zach Gage’s game design provocation.
Pinball by Alexander Berchert – another beautiful, playable wooden sculpture
Pint-Sized Puzzles from Chris Dickson: puzzles to dip into across the weekend.
Now Play This included two nights of talks – Games and Poetry and Games and Intimacy – as well as an afternoon of five-minute microtalks. Speakers included:
Hannah Nicklin: A Storytelling Game
Tom Betts: I wandered lonely as a function
Ross Sutherland: AUTO-TED
Meg Jayanth: Games that affected (me) like a disaster
Emily Short: Private Games
Merritt Kopas: The Morning After
Arnaud de Bock (independent), speaking about Pico-8
Dejan Mitrovic (Kidesign), speaking about 3D printing and games
Llaura Ze (DREAMFEEEL, showing Fluc throughout the weekend)
Louis Roots (SK Games), talking about making custom controllers
Maf’j Alvarez (independent, showing Rootbeans on Saturday)
Marie Foulston (V&A), talking about some of the strange games she loves
Matt Wieteska (Six to Start), speaking about translating a digital game into a card game
Sheila Udeagu, talking about roller derby
Strange Interfaces Showcase
On Sunday morning we showed a special collection of games and experiences with experimental interfaces, and ran workshops inviting players to try making their own games and playful objects.
Summon creatures with the half-physical half-digital Fabulous Beasts.
Alan Zucconi’s experimental controllers for 0rbitalis and DodecaLEDron.
Control or be controlled with Yifei Chai’s Pretender Project.
Nate Gallardo and Daniel Gallagher’s eerie VR game Prowl.
A pervasive design workshop to invent and play a real-world game.
Media Molecule’s papercraft workshop, and play their game Tearaway.
Experimental e-textiles in a workshop led by Emilie Giles.
Custom controllers from Louis Roots, giving you a new way to play.
Games for Groups
New parlour games, and scheduled games for large numbers of players at once – puzzles, performances, walks and more.
Compete to make the best sound effects in Foleyoke.
Add to the growing image of Maf’j Alvarez’s Rootbeans.
Stake your fortune in A Door in a Wall’s The Long and the Short of It.
Fill in forms in Kevan Davis’s Gostak International Airport.
Chris Roberts ran a walking tour you can win in the London Liars’ Tour.
The Silly Ideas Factory ran a panto game Whose Shoe Is It Anyway?
Explore an invisible building in Seth Kriebel’s The Unbuilt Room.
Modern-day parlour game Distracticon, from Splash & Ripple.
Throughout the weekend we showed a series of new and upcoming games, all running on a drop-in basis. The lineup changed every couple of hours, making sure that every day of Now Play This was different.
Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker – the uniquely British Dating Simulator with a difference!
Morning. Race your magnets in Jerry Carpenter’s Magnotron.
Alan Hazelden and Benjamin Davis’ A Good Snowman is Hard to Build.
De Mambo, four-player infinite mambo from The Dangerous Kitchen
Snow Cones, an adorable day out from Team Laserbeam.
Shoot your way through a tense Mexican standoff in Fuego by Radiostatic.
Criquette, a compelling two-button cricket game from Evan Greenwood.
Jump through sentences with The Last Word from Mark Backler.
Beeswing, a pastoral exploration from Jack King-Spooner.
Don’t Die Mr Robot, by Infinite State Games. But Mr Robot WILL die.
Play minimalist spaceships with Shoot Shoot Mega Pack by Jon Remedios
Artners, 2-player not-quite-collaborative art-making from Holly Gramazio.