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Now Play This 2018 at Somerset House

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The three-day games festival Now Play This returns to Somerset House for its fifth edition this April, as part of the city-wide London Games Festival, supported by Games London, with a host of hands-on gameplay for all ages. The popular weekender brings the best of experimental game design from around the globe, from the 1990s to the present day. From screens to tabletops, solo to multiplayer, simple to complex, players can experience dozens of diverse games - many of which premiere at Now Play This - across multiple dedicated spaces. This year's focus is on the idea of place, demonstrating how games and play help us understand the world around us in new and creative ways. Through varied, purposeful play, festival goers can explore different countries and cultures, and critical issues specific to these places ranging from international borders to identity. Opportunities for players to create their own games and contribute towards the making of others will be plentiful, with interactive, participatory installations, and even the communal creation of a 'flatgame' all about Now Play This. As well as hands-on opportunities to play and take part in drop-in workshops throughout the festival, specific games give direct insight into the patterns, processes and particularities of game making. Additionally, visitors with a Weekend Pass receive special access to The Makers' Corner. This space gives access to extra games and delves even deeper into the process of making games through a series of workshops, archive interview footage, and activities such as building custom controllers, trying out prototype board games, and even designing an escape room. The space allows for game industry networking, access to a library of 'zines' and books, and opportunities to have in-depth discussion with many of the designers and makers taking part in the festival. Also at Somerset House: Werkflow: Sovereign coincides with Now Play This and continues throughout April. Somerset House Studios residents Werkflow will exhibit a free playable demo of new video game Sovereign in the New Wing. Players inhabit the body of a boy in his mid-teens, living between two worlds - a wartorn 'game world' and a real-life suburban landscape linked to his inner imagination. Created in collaboration with young people at Somerset House, Sovereign explores the power dynamics of British culture, as teenagers attempt to navigate questions about their position of assumed sovereignty and state of mind.

Venue Details & Map

Somerset House

The Strand
+44 (0)20 7845 4600
Public transport:
Tube: Temple/Covent Garden/Charing Cross/Embankment Mainline: Charing Cross/Waterloo/Blackfriars

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