Now Play This 2022 – OPEN CALL


An audio version of this open call can be found here

Now Play This will be returning to Somerset House in Spring of 2022 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 31st January.

In 2022, Now Play This is exploring the relationship between game design and democracy. 

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 on aspects of democratic systems such as decision making, resource and power sharing, forms of representation, justice, protest and activism
  • envisions different ways in which we can organise ourselves as communities and societies
  • reflects on political dynamics in games making and the games industry

We believe that democracy has much to learn from game design – but that game design could be a lot more democratic as well. This is why this year, we are especially interested in pulling back the curtain and including audiences in the process of making games and playful art.

We encourage you to submit ideas for workshops or activities based on unfinished works or techniques that you are exploring. If you are submitting a completed work, we ask you to imagine ways in which it could be extended, for example

  • by exhibiting earlier stages of development or revealing the decision making and playtesting process that went into finding the final form
  • as a workshop where groups of participants learn about how it is made or are able to remix or change parts of it, or be inspired to make something of their own

To submit works and workshop ideas please complete the open call form here.

If you can, don’t wait until the last minute – we’ll be reading all submissions as they come in and will happily reach out to you before the deadline on January 31st.

Finally, we’d like to use this year to experiment with ways of using our brand new old-school web forum. When we’ve run open calls in the past, there hasn’t been an easy way for all the people who have submitted amazing things to get in touch with each other. If you’d like to connect with others who are responding to this call, we invite you to sign up to our forum and introduce yourself in the intros section.

We aim to be as inclusive as possible and work to accommodate all access requirements. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with! We will happily discuss and tailor how we do things to support you as best we can.

Additional information:

  • We strongly encourage 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.
  • Given the continued unknowns around the pandemic, we ask you to consider covid safety, for example by describing ways in which your submission could take place outdoors or move online.
  • While we would love to see you there, 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 open to working with you on realising your submission without your presence on site, either by supporting you to run your work online/remotely, by training facilitators and/or players to deliver your work based upon materials or instructions that you provide, or by other creative means.
  • We will respond to all submissions by mid February. Due to the volume of submissions we receive we will only be able to provide feedback where it is requested and from May 2022 onwards. If you would like feedback on your submission, please send an email to with the subject line FEEDBACK [name of submission]

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

Image: UK House of Commons following the 2017 general election. No party had a majority.