VIRTUAL WORLDS TO ACTUALLY FEATURE AT EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL 2008

Wednesday 2nd July/...The Edinburgh Interactive Festival today announced a Virtual World focus to some of this year’s festival. Three brand new conference sessions will see the festival plunge into virtual worlds, the companies running or building them and the commerce around them. The sessions will take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th August 2008.

The new Virtual worlds sessions will be“Inline Transactions”,“The 3 MMO’s– from Content to Community” and“Real Politics invade Virtual Worlds– dealing with social and economic issues in EVE online”.

The first:“Inline Transactions” introduces PlaySpan, the gaming industry’s first publisher sponsored in game commerce network, and the company CEO Karl Mehta as he addresses the conference to discuss the many ways virtual world economies impact real-world economies through real money transactions.

“Speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival is a monumental privilege and a chance to educate a broad segment of gaming professionals on a new and important gaming sector,” said PlaySpan CEO Karl Mehta,“As the gaming industry’s leading microtransaction solution, PlaySpan represents the cutting edge of virtual world monetization. We believe that this opportunity to convey our insight to the prestigious leaders at EIF represents a major step for the understanding of virtual world economies.”

Secondly,“The 3 MMO’s– from Content to Community” will be chaired by Matt Rothman of Hemisphere Capital, and feature Kerry Fraser-Robinson, President of Redbedlam Ltd., that has built and published a virtual world, RomaVictor, Rik Alexander, CEO of Monumental Games, that will soon launch‘Football Superstars’ in partnership with Cybersports, and Toby Simpson, Chief Technical Officer of NiceTech; a company that has built a virtual world,‘Tronji-The Happy Lands’, around a forthcoming BBC Worldwide children’s TV series.

Matt Rothman said,“There’s a lot being written about virtual worlds and a lot of funds being invested in them but when you look at who’s out there doing it, it’s a short list. We’ll be looking at what it takes to build these new forms of entertainment, knowing it requires a lot more than technology.”

Finally the“Real Politics invade Virtual Worlds– dealing with social and economic issues in EVE online” session will offer delegates an insightful interview session, chaired by Fred Hasson, Executive Director at Redbedlam and Chairman of the European Games Developers Federation.

Hasson will be interviewing Eyjlfur Guâmundsonn, Lead Economist and Head of the Research and Statistics, recently hired from the University of Reykjavik to join the team at EVE Online, and whose job it is to research and quantify the social and economic behaviour evolving from growing community playing EVE Online.

Hasson said,“The social and economic consequences of in game communities must be one of the most fascinating subjects in the games industry. The skills needed in this genre of games, has much if not more to do with how one effectively intercedes and moderates growing communities as it has the technology and content production. EVE Online have quite correctly recognised the importance of this and their research is extremely revealing.”

Now celebrating its sixth year, the Edinburgh Interactive Festival is powered up to showcase the continued popularity, growth and influence of video games. And this year, the Interactive Festival is more synchronised with the world famous Edinburgh Festival than ever, appealing to the press, public and professionals from film, television and interactive media backgrounds alike, offering a bigger event for delegates, more consumer focusing– an overall spectacle for all.

New to Interactive Festival 2008 will be Features, Exhibition and Recruitment areas specifically tailored to cater for the public - allowing them access to the latest games and job opportunities in games.

As ever, the three-day Interactive Festival wouldn’t be complete without the cornerstones of conferences, keynotes, panel sessions, debates, games screenings and even more people than ever jostling to get through the doors.

Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008

Edinburgh International Conference Centre

150 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8EE

UK

Sunday 10th August

Game Screenings

Dare ProtoPlay

Public games area and retail site

Monday 11th August

EIF Conference

Game Screenings

Dare ProtoPlay

Public games area and retail site

Conference Networking event

Tuesday 12th August

EIF Conference

Game Screenings

Dare ProtoPlay

Public games area and retail site

Digital Interactive Symposium

Edinburgh Interactive Festival will also play host to the Digital Interactive Symposium, the games event aimed at academics and games industry professionals. It takes place on the afternoon of Tuesday12th August.

Registration is open now at www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com

There is also a Facebook Group in 2008 at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12251081247

Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008 registration details:

Register before Tuesday 1st July 2008 -£120 (ex VAT)

Register on or after Tuesday 1st July 2008 -£149 (ex VAT)

Scottish based developers and companies -£99 (ex VAT)

Students -£75 (ex VAT)

Delegates can also register for the Digital Interactive Symposium.

You can see more of Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2007 at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YktZnm_eRlQ

Edinburgh Interactive Festival has also forged a number of key relationships with partners and sponsors that will be announced shortly.

If you are interested in getting involved with Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008– through partnerships, sponsorship, the Friends of the Festival programme or simply to find out more about the commercial opportunities at EIF 2008, please contact Sales and Sponsorship manager, Jodie Holdway: Tel +44 (0) 1462 456780 ; jodie.holdway@bhpr.co.uk. For press information please contact PR Manager, Sarah Hartland: Tel +44 (0) 1462 456780; sarah.hartland@bhpr.co.uk.

Editors’ Note:

EIF08

The Edinburgh Interactive Festival is managed by a committee drawn from all areas of the games industry, including publishers, developers and the two industry trade bodies: The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) www.tiga.org and the Entertainment&Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) www.elspa.com.


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