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.
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.
Games for Groups
New parlour games, and scheduled games for large numbers of players at once – puzzles, performances, walks and more.
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.