indie games

Nine Worlds Geekfest 2014

Despite it having happened a fortnight ago now, Nine Worlds Geekfest was the first in a string of four events which I attended recently, so I’m only now getting around to my write-ups. Check back later for my reviews of GDC and Gamescom in Köln, and Loncon 3 in London!

Nine Worlds Geekfest feels remarkably different when one travels to and from there almost directly by aeroplane. As my co-hosts from The Geek Night In have already remarked, Nine Worlds is a uniquely welcoming and inclusive event; thus, passing through security at Heathrow airport felt like crossing the border to a much friendlier place even than Sweden.

I took part in a handful of panels again this year – which I’ll return to in a while. Unlike last year’s event though, I wanted to take advantage of the fact everything was under one roof and experience more than just what was on offer in the video games culture track. I’m pleased to say that, while my partner was captivated by an impressively strong series of ‘future tech’ programme items, I was cheerily dipping my toes into Game of Thrones fandom, geek feminism and podcasting.

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Stockholm Syndrome

As my refurbished website now boldly proclaims, I have left Britain’s shores for colder pastures in Stockholm. My partner and I became expatriates at the very end of November, meaning that with a gap around Christmas, I’ve been abroad for a month.

That month has afforded me many opportunities, from the mundane (tidy up my hard drive) to the ambitious (work out where my career can take me – literally). Ultimately my objective has been to take a 3-month sabbatical, helping us both to engage with a foreign culture and helping me to work out what the games scene is like in Stockholm – and where my career should go from here.

Suffice it to say, it’s all a world apart from the daily rhythm of commuting into London, to design games just outside the Silicon Roundabout.

CY Reid (above right) demonstrating 'Hug Marine' at London Indies

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The Digital-only Toybox

My games collection and my career have both moved with the industry, i.e. away from boxed titles, and while that makes for exciting career opportunities I find myself in something of an identity crisis as a long-time collector of video games.

Wild Rumpus #4: On an Effing Boat

Last night it was my great pleasure to attend my first Wild Rumpus, and I found that Rev 3 Games’ quote is spot-on: “arcades are dead. We need more rumpuses.” What follows is a simple account of my experiences.

MS Stubnitz at Canary Wharf

MS Stubnitz at Canary Wharf

Wild Rumpus is many things: a chance to play top-notch indie games; an opportunity to drink, network and catch up with friends; and a nerd-friendly night out the likes of which I have not felt since getting membership to Islington’s goth club, Slimelight. To be honest, most of my reason for going was just to catch up with friends I’ve previously only seen at conferences and game jams. Twitter doesn’t afford us quite the same experience of cider-fueled entertainment!

For the social aspect alone, I recommend Wild Rumpus to anyone who might have been ‘umming and ahhing’ about attending last night’s event. That said, the games on show here were superb and while I didn’t get around to playing many, I loved what we did play.

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