ABOUT THE EVENT:
PLAYTOPIA is a 3-day indie game and playful media festival, showcasing local and international independent computer games, interactive and digital art, talks, panels, workshops and an awesome music line-up.
Taking cues from international alternative games festivals, PLAYTOPIA marks South Africa's debut homegrown celebration of games and interactive art. Producing a series of surprise global hits, South Africa's game makers (and their unique creations) have landed upon the international map, and PLAYTOPIA stands to celebrate the country's diverse game development community, and inspire the next generation of creators, gamers and enthusiasts. Collecting the best of local art and games alongside international contemporaries, Playtopia promises to be one of a kind African gaming celebration.
PLAYTOPIA will take place in the oldest building in South Africa, The Castle of Good Hope, a maze of rooms and history. This collision of past and future, adds energy and creativity to the PLAYTOPIA setting.
Free Lives (creators of Broforce, Genital Jousting and Gorn VR) were inspired to start PLAYTOPIA as a platform to bring together the gaming and digital arts community to further education, enthusiasm and interest in this growing industry. Largely inspired by A MAZE./Berlin (and its offshoot A MAZE./JHB), the Free Lives team (in collaboration with Make Games South Africa and Africa Games Week) has drawn on the organizational and creative talents of Dominique Gawlowski (Festival Director Grietfest & Playtopia), Limpho Moeti (Free Lives & Deputy Festival Director Playtopia), Ben Rausch (Super Friendship Arcade) and others, to create PLAYTOPIA here in Cape Town as the first locally brewed festival to focus on indie game development and experimental media.
We are also honoured to host our inspiration, A MAZE./Berlin, who will be showcasing their 'Digital Gardens' exhibition, curated by Thorsten S. Wiedemann (Director, A MAZE.).
The generous support of MWeb, Devolver Digital Publishers, Friends of Design, SOZO Labs and AVA have helped make this event possible.
Evan Greenwood (owner and Director of Free Lives) is a major supporter of creativity and believes an event like PLAYTOPIA can help attract, foster and retain more local talent. South Africans have incredibly unique stories, perceptions and shared history, giving our designers, tech developers and creators very fresh and different perspectives for the world to experience.
Gaming is one of the biggest industries in the world - surpassing even the film and music industries. Games are no longer solely something for kids. The medium has evolved to become a form of entertainment and artistic expression that people of all ages can engage with and enjoy. PLAYTOPIA aims to create a platform for a more mature audience of gamers, creators, art and entertainment lovers to come together to learn, connect and be inspired by the digital innovations being made.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Gamers, developers and event goers will have a plethora of games, music, food and experiential art to enjoy. Exhibitions by some of South Africa’s top interactive artists, 30+ alternative, art and party games, a Super Friendship Arcade room with games played on custom controllers, VR rooms and the international exhibition 'Digital Gardens' created by A MAZE./Berlin.
Play with Ralph Borland’s robots, engage with the sensory art of Miranda Moss, marvel at the projection art of global artist Inka Kendzia and walk through the yarn art of embroidery artist Danielle Clough, along with various other artists showcasing custom designed playful objects.
Delegates (limited tickets, R820) have additional access to exclusive talks by local and international game developers and experts working in the industry, participation in workshops and access to a private Delegate and Speaker bar.
PLAYTOPIA starts on Friday evening with a Kick-Off Party. Super Friendship Arcade, Cape Town's premier game punk collective, invades PLAYTOPIA for a night of unique creations, custom controllers and home-brewed party games!
A fully interactive exhibition featuring over 30 games and interactive art installations, with creations by Miranda Moss, Inka Kendzia, Danielle Clough and more.
An awesome music line-up boasts DJ Invizable, Sasquatch, Haezer and more TBC!
Added to the madness, is a beer garden and food trucks to keep you fueled.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:
The interactive artists' exhibition continues, along with a Virtual Reality room demonstrating the latest locally made VR games, and an exhibition room filled with both local and international curated indie game gems, celebrating everything from wild multiplayer party games to intimate artistic expressions.
AMAZE. Pop up!
Global champions of games and playful media, A MAZE. bring their magic from Berlin to Cape Town! A MAZE director Thorsten S. Wiedemann curates a unique experience called 'Digital Gardens'; a selection of games celebrating flora, fauna, beauty and peacefulness.
The A MAZE. pop up will also include a 'Green Thumb Panel' - a talk featuring an inspiring collection of international artists and experts from Europe's indie game underground.
A diverse collection of local and international artists, designers, thinkers and renegades, working in the vibrant world of games and play, fill the Talks, Panels and Workshops Programme. Exciting speakers to look forward to include Anita Sarkeesian (feminist icon, creator of US blog “Feminist Frequency”), Lauren Beukes (radical South African writer of novels, comics and games), Cukia Kimani (co-creator of “Semblance”), Wilhelm Nylund (game designer and CEO of Sweden’s Landfall Games, creator of “Totally Accurate Battlegrounds”) and many more! Talks and panels run from 10 am to 6 pm. Workshops sharing skills, tips and tricks, such as Colin Payne’s VR Introduction, will run from 9 am to 4 pm.
On Saturday evening you’ll be treated to another brilliant local lineup, including Hello Beautiful, Julia Robert, Uppercut and ANG.