Now Play This 2023 – OPEN CALL

Now Play This will be returning to Somerset House in Spring of 2023 as part of London Games Festival. We’re once again opening up a call for playful makers and creators to tell us about their work.

Daisy Oracle of Love – U.S. Patent Application by Pedro Jose Lopez Garcia, 2011
Daisy Oracle of Love – U.S. Patent Application by Pedro Jose Lopez Garcia, 2011

The submission deadline for the open call will be 11:59 PM GMT on 15th January.

In 2023, Now Play This is exploring the relationship between games and one of humanity’s most fundamental experiences: love. 

We are looking for games (digital, non-digital or mixed), installations, playful activities and workshops in a variety of shapes and expressions. This may include work that:

  • touches on aspects of romance, family, friendship and kinship, LGBTQIA+ perspectives, self-love, caring relationships with nature, emotional connections with non-human entities like geological forms, flora, creatures, machines, extraterrestrial beings…
  • envisions different ways in which we can create and maintain systems and practices of care as communities and societies
  • reflects critically on mental health, relationships and care in games culture and the games industry, or on abusive and manipulative aspects of “playing games” in the context of love

This year, we are working on a longer festival duration, with more time and space for deep personal experiences and careful exploration. We are open to an especially wide range of formats, for example:

  • games and activities that take place outside, making use of public space and working with the friction between public and private moments. eg walks, street games
  • Family-focused games that explore love and care
  • loving playful activities around games – such as surprising ways to play existing games together, conversational formats that make use of interactivity, toys and/or games 
  • workshops around love and care in game making

To submit your idea 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.

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.
  • 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 February 1st. Due to the volume of submissions we receive we will only be able to provide feedback where it is requested and from May 2023 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