PLAYTOPIA Castle of Good Hope
PLAYTOPIA – global champions of games and playful media

PLAYTOPIA is a three-day indie games 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 up on 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.

PLAYTOPIA will be at the Castle of Good Hope – a maze of rooms and history. The organisers hope this collision of past and future will add to the energy and creativity.

What to expect

Gamers, developers and event goers will have a plethora of games, music, food and experiential art to enjoy. Exhibitions by 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.

Who will be there

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 and interest in this growing industry. Largely inspired by A MAZE./Berlin (and its offshoot A MAZE./JHB), the Free Lives team (in collab with Make Games South Africa and Africa Games Week) has drawn on the talents of Dominique Gawlowski (Festival Director Grietfest and Playtopia), Limpho Moeti (Free Lives and 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 showcase their Digital Gardens exhibition, curated by Thorsten S. Wiedemann (Director, A MAZE.).

Gaming is one of the biggest industries in the world – surpassing even the film and music industries. Evan Greenwood (owner and Director of Free Lives)  believes an event like PLAYTOPIA can help attract and foster more 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.”

Friday highlights

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.
The music line-up: DJ Invizable, Sassquatch, Haezer and more TBC.

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.

A MAZE. 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, Digital Gardens – a selection of games celebrating flora, fauna, beauty and peacefulness. It 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) and Wilhelm Nylund (game designer and CEO of Sweden’s Landfall Games, creator of Totally Accurate Battlegrounds). Talks and panels: 10am to 6pm. Workshops sharing skills, tips and tricks, such as Colin Payne’s VR Introduction: 9am to 4pm.

On Saturday evening you’ll be treated to another brilliant local line-up: Hello Beautiful, Julia Robert, Uppercut and ANG.

What: PLAYTOPIA An Indie Games and Playful Media Festival
When: 30 November – 2 December 2018
Times: Friday 7pm – 1am, Saturday 10am – 1am, Sunday 10am – 6pm
Venue: Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
Tickets: R320 Weekend, R150 Friday, R180 Saturday, Sunday R120, R820 Delegate (Limited)