Geek 2014. Image by David Good Videography - www.davidgoodvideography.com
There’s something for everyone – that’s the message the organisers of GEEK 2014 are sending out loud and clear.
You don’t have to be a coding genius or an Xbox maestro to enjoy the fabulous feast of entertainment and hi-tech gimmickry on offer.
There are two halls of games to play as well as workshops, talks, presentations and demonstrations appealing to a wide range of ages and interests.
For a touch of nostalgia, there will be hundreds of video games to play on original consoles.
Special areas will include the Indie Zone, Minecraft Cave and Game Lounges. Even the under fives are catered for with special activities on Sunday.
Not everything will be screen-based. There will be plenty to choose from if you prefer more traditional challenges, such as puzzles and board games.
But there’s much, more:
Discussion panels with gamesmakers
Card games and hands-on action
First heat of the Classic Gaming Championship
Hack the Future – a digital debate
Eight coding hubs to banish the mystery of coding and games-making
Play through the ages timeline from 1977
Event organiser Kim Steward said: “GEEK has grown and grown and we are so excited to see the variety of interest, features and participants.
“The fact that we have a timeline of retro consoles alongside those of today, and the virtual reality headset for 3D gaming, is just fantastic.
“It has been wonderful to see all types of people come to GEEK, even from other places in the world, including America.
“GEEK 2014 as a single event, I believe, will show better than any other just how creative and inspirational gaming can be.”
Geek 2013, expo fair at Margate Winter Gardens: Kendra and Leanna Phillips and Ruby Redwood play games
Bring the kids
Sunday is family day at GEEK. As well as the usual games, there will be interactive story time and homemade arcade games for the little ones. Parents and carers will find talks discussing gaming of particular interest on Sunday.
The day will also feature the awards ceremony. This will include a trophy for the best Cosplay from the Saturday and a people’s choice indie award. Visitors can vote for their favourite indie game from those showcased at the event.
There will also be awards for winners of Sticky Sunday – competitions involving food for the games Punch The Custard, Jelly Track and Field.
Play, then have a say
When it’s all over, and the last console has been switched off, the aim is to ensure there should be a lasting legacy of GEEK 2014. Arts Council England is funding four game maker residencies.
The challenge for those chosen, from 55 applications, is to make a game in any format, inspired by Margate.
Visitors to the festival will have a chance to test the game prototypes where they can give their feedback to the maker.
GEEK’s Kate Kneale said: “We know Margate has always been a place to play, and GEEK is taking this a step further by making it the place to test games.”
The four chosen games makers are the Invisible Flock trio Ben Eaton, Victoria Pratt and Rich Warburton from Leeds; digital artist Seb Lee-Delisle from Brighton and Belgrade-based Bogdan Spanjevic on his first trip to Thanet.
Then there is east Kent’s Pheebs & Rwig, consisting of Phoebe Marsh from Canterbury and Ashford’s Rebecca Wigmore, collaborators who have worked widely across the county.
GEEK 2014 is at Margate’s Winter Gardens from Friday, February 21, to Sunday, February 23. It is open from 10am to 6pm daily with an evening session on Saturday from 7pm to 11pm.
Day tickets are £13 for adults, £7 children (five to 14) and free under fives. Concessions are £11, family tickets are £36, and evening tickets £5.
Two-day passes are £24, £12 child and £20 concession. Three-day passes are £36, £18 child and £30 concession.
More details on GEEK 2014 by calling 01843 296111.