Create Experimental Games & Playful Art at the Now Play This Design Camp!

We’re inviting makers, artists, researchers, organisers and activists from all backgrounds to come together for a week of co-creation, reflection and play at Somerset House. In the lead-up to this year’s Now Play This festival, we are hosting a design camp to explore how games and democracy relate – and how game-design can be an exciting, collaborative process.

Together, we will explore how games (from children’s street games to board and video games, digital installations and larps) can be inspired by forms of democratic decision making, resource and power-sharing, body politics and accessibility, representation, justice, protest and activism – but also how democratic initiatives can benefit from game design techniques like iteration and playtesting.

Become one of 30 participants to join a personal, inspiring and fun programme of talks, workshops, mentoring, playtesting and discussion, led by games facilitator Maria Saridaki and the Now Play This team, including:

  • workshops with democracy practitioners Katy Rubin and Jez Hall
  • remote collaborations with Nibcard Games, who are running a satellite camp in Abuja, Nigeria
  • creative coding and game design workshops with Code Coven
  • inspiration and playtesting support from award-winning game designers ustwo games

Quick Facts

  • When is it? April 2nd-10th 2022
  • Where is it? Somerset House, London
  • Who’s it for? People of all ages (18+) interested in creating games about democracy or making democracy more playful. You’re welcome both if you’re just creating your first playful projects or if you’re a veteran in the process.

Camp Schedule Outline

  • April 2nd-3rd – During the opening weekend of the Design Camp, we’ll get to know each other and get inspired by democracy practitioners and game makers
  • April 4th-7th – On days leading up to the festival, you’ll work in small teams on creating new games. Days start at 11:00 with a varied programme of social activities, playtesting, workshops and support throughout.
  • April 8th-10th – Present, playtest and discuss your creations when the Design Camp space is opened to the public at Now Play This Festival

How it works

  • Sign up using our online form until March 11th, 23:59
  • Participation is free
  • Spaces are limited, so we’ll select participants to ensure a mixed group
  • To get the full experience of the camp, we invite participants to be on site at Somerset House as much as possible, but do not expect anyone to be on-site for the full week.
  • All design camp participants get full access to the festival
  • You can use any engine, tool, piece of software, person or physical object to make your game
  • If possible, bring your laptop or other equipment that you would like to work with. We can provide a limited number of devices to participants.
  • We work hard to ensure a safe and harassment-free social experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or game preferences.