Now Play This 2021 – OPEN CALL

Participants in the 1970s New Games Movement play with the "Earth Ball"

Now Play This will be returning to Somerset House in Spring of 2021 as part of London Games Festival. For this new edition we’re once again opening up a call for playful makers and creators to tell us about their work.

The submission deadline for the open call will be 11:59 PM GMT on 5th January.

The 2021 edition of Now Play This is investigating the relationship between play, games and the escalating climate crisis. 

We are looking for games (digital, non-digital or mixed), installations, playful activities and workshops in a variety of formats and expressions.

This may include work that…

  • touches upon the challenges of agency, protest, cooperation, justice or explores other political, social or natural dynamics feeding into the climate crisis
  • envisions sustainable ways of relating to each other and to the environment
  • reflects on its own use of resources or on how games culture is complicit in the crisis

Alongside works for the exhibition, we are keen to receive proposals for works that take place outside in the public spaces around Somerset House, making creative use of existing features of the urban landscape, or exploring the social interactions between players and/or passers-by.

We are open to other interpretations of the theme, but do ask that you demonstrate clearly how work submitted connects to it.

To submit works please complete the open call form here.

If you have accessibility concerns regarding the form or the deadline please email

Additional information:

  • We strongly welcome submissions from marginalised and underrepresented creatives within games and playful art.
  • The festival pays a honorarium for exhibited projects and provides all hardware required to display (where applicable). We can also cover any additional expenses required to showcase work.
  • Creators are not required to attend the festival for their work to be presented, and we are actively seeking to reduce the travel associated with festivals like ours. If a work is dependent on your presence, e.g. an outdoor workshop, then we will cover limited train travel and accommodation expenses. We are also open to working with you on realising your submission without your presence on site, either by you running your work online/remotely, by you sending materials or instructions that can be followed by facilitators and/or players, or by other creative means.
  • We will respond to all submissions by late January. We offer feedback on request for unsuccessful submissions.

If you have any other queries, comments or feedback then please email

Image: Participants in the 1970s New Games Movement play with the “Earth Ball”