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Holly Gramazio

Now Play This 2018 roundup


Now Play This 2018 ran at Somerset House from 6-8 April, as part of the London Games Festival.

For a full set of 200 photos, see our Facebook album. To download the programme and essays that visitors to the festival received, look here.

To play some of the games at the festival online – including games that debuted at the festival – try our gallery. Or if you’re interested in the Flatgames room in particular, this gallery shows the flatgames we showed, and this gallery shows the flatgames created by visitors and the flatgamejam crew during the festival.

A few visitors have written up their experience – take a look at these:

If you know any we’ve missed, send ’em over and we’ll add them to this post!


Now Play This 2018

Now Play This – the games festival we run with Jo Summers and George Buckenham – is about to turn four! Well, technically it’s about to turn three and a half – we only had a six month gap between our prototype first festival and our full-scale second – but it’s about to have its fourth event, from 6-8 April at Somerset House as part of the London Games Festival.

We’re really excited about this, and if you are too you can see a lot of the selected games over at the Now Play This website, or buy tickets at the Somerset House site. But we also thought we might write a little bit here about what we’re trying to achieve with this year’s festival – what’s different from previous years, what we’re trying to do and why.

Exhibiting Difficult Games

I think a lot of games curators will have spent today thinking about this post by Nathalie Lawhead, in which Lawhead recounts a recent experience of showing her game Everything is going to be OK at an event. The experience as she tells it has positive elements but was overall pretty stressful, with a lot of moments where players performed youtube-style “what is this WEIRD GAME” baffled screaming. Her experience was clearly not the best; Lawhead’s game is in some ways inaccessible and it rejects many of the conventions that make games easy to grasp in a crowded expo or exhibition environment. She writes:

I feel like, if you show games like this to total consumers audience, you have to prepare the audience for it. The setting and context has to be differentiated. You HAVE to create a space that basically screams “THESE ARE ART DON’T EXPECT A TRADITIONAL GAME”. You have to make some kind of point that people have to be open minded. Create a space that encourages respect.