Welcome to Now Play This, a festival of experimental games and play. This year, Instead of us welcoming you into Somerset House you’re welcoming us into your lounge, your bedroom, your bathroom, your hall closet or wherever for a special ‘at Home’ edition.
Whilst this year’s festival is different to year’s past, one thing remains consistent, which is our embrace of experimentation. This radical and creative spirit is something we’ve tried to weave through our virtual events and programming from virtual field trips, to improv video chat workshops to keynote talks held live in Animal Crossing. It’s the first time we’ve undertaken many events like these and we hope that you’ll offer a prayer to the gods of capture cards, servers and wifi for us over the festival weekend.
Alongside our live programming is our ‘Play at Home’ official selection, a curated pick of playful works that resonate with this year’s festival theme of ‘breaking point’. It’s a theme that celebrates the work of mischievous makers who break, subvert and remix the games they design and play. Through their acts of creative corruption these creators offer us space to interrogate and reimagine not just the rules we play by, but those we live by.
Whilst our ‘Play at Home’ selection represents many of the works which were due to be part of the original festival at Somerset House sadly there are others which don’t translate as well from the physical to the virtual. It was hugely important to us to honor what would have been this year’s full official selection and all participating artists are celebrated and archived here, and we hope one day we can still exhibit them in person.
We are enormously grateful to all the artists and creatives who have contributed to and supported both the original festival and this its ‘at Home’ virtual counterpart. We could not and would not want to do this festival without you.