Visitors to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth are used to seeing weird and wonderful creatures from under the sea. But during two days in November, they can discover an altogether more curious species, as games developers, designers and enthusiasts descend to take part in Extended Play 2011 – the first major, and free, digital interactive festival in the South West.
The festival will begin with an exclusive VIP event on Thursday evening, with an introductory keynote speech from Richard Wilson, CEO of the UK gaming industry representative body TIGA, who will highlight the importance of the indie games development community within the UK’s growing games industry against the backdrop of the National Marine Aquarium’s Eddystone Reef. Guests will sip on special Extended Play cocktails – games themed coffee martinis, created by Drink, Relax Play – a group of game obsessed barristas.
Ian Livingstone, OBE, will give a visual account of the history of computer games, charting his struggles as an entrepreneur in the 1970s, when he launched Dungeons & Dragons, and giving a detailed case history of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. He completes a stellar line-up of industry speakers over the course of Friday and Saturday, also including Guardian games correspondent Keith Stuart, Channel 4 Education Commissioner Jo Twist, Preloaded Creative Director Phil Stuart, and past BBC designer Ian Hamilton. The conference will cover key topics that surround the theme of ‘games as a service.’ Ian Livingstone OBE, Life President of Eidos and keynote speaker says, “The opportunities for small creative teams to develop the next hit game have never been so great. This is evident given the global success of numerous titles across PCs, consoles, handheld devices, smartphones and online. South West companies have the creative talent and technical know how to capitalise on these new emergent trends, and Extended Play is a fantastic initiative for those companies to showcase their new creations on a national scale.”
The festival will also feature a live Games Jam with a showcase and prizegiving, Boot Camp for 20 of the region's emerging gaming studios, a UK version of the Winnitron Arcade Games cabinet and free freshly ground coffee courtesy of Drink Relax Play.
For full press information please open the attached release or visit www.explay.co.uk/press, where full schedule, speaker biogs and images are available.
Extended Play 2011 will take place 3 – 5 November 2011 at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth .
More info: www.explay.co.uk
Twitter: @explayuk, #explay11
Rebecca Ladbury / Pavla Kopecna
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