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Home   Thanet   News   Article

Top European games makers are inspired by Margate for new games being created with Arts Council funding for GEEK 2014

13 February 2014
by Mary Louis
Game makers Invisible Flock have been recording their experiences of Margate to be incorporated into a new game, If You Go Away, for mobile phones as an Arts Council-funded artists' residency for GEEK 2014. Pictured, from left, are Rich Warburton, Victoria Pratt and Ben Eaton

Game makers Invisible Flock have been recording their experiences of Margate to be incorporated into a new game, If You Go Away, for mobile phones as an Arts Council-funded artists' residency for GEEK 2014. Pictured, from left, are Rich Warburton, Victoria Pratt and Ben Eaton

The Margate Games will be a lasting legacy of GEEK 2014, the South East’s largest games expo at the Winter Gardens, from February 21-23.

Arts Council England is funding four game maker residencies for the expo.

The challenge for those chosen, from 55 applications, is to make a game in any format, inspired by Margate.

The four participants bring amazing talent to the town.

GEEK director Kate Kneale said: “The games are going to be very diverse and exciting.”

Award winning digital artist and game-maker Seb Lee-Delisle, from Brighton, at work during his Arts Council-funded artist's residency to combine digital technology with guns that actually shoot to create a new game for GEEK 2014

Award winning digital artist and game-maker Seb Lee-Delisle, from Brighton, at work during his Arts Council-funded artist's residency to combine digital technology with guns that actually shoot to create a new game for GEEK 2014

Visitors to the festival will have a chance to test the game prototypes where they can give their feedback to the maker.

Kate added: “We know Margate has always been a place to play, and GEEK is taking this one step further by making it the place to test games.”

The four chosen games makers are the innovative Invisible Flock trio Ben Eaton, Victoria Pratt and Rich Warburton from Leeds; award-winning digital artist Seb Lee-Delisle from Brighton; and game collective founder Belgrade-based Bogdan Spanjevic who has worked across the US, Europe and the UK, but is on his first visit 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 Kent.

Each of the four are making a Margate Game inspired by the area, its history, geography, people and stories.

They are not fixed to any particular format.

Game designer Bogdan Spanjevic, from Belgrade. The founder of YenDva3 game collective is in Margate for GEEK 2014.

Game designer Bogdan Spanjevic, from Belgrade. The founder of YenDva3 game collective is in Margate for GEEK 2014.

At a special GEEK 2014 event on Friday, people were invited to meet the game makers. They revealed a taste of their games to the Thanet Extra as well as their responses to Margate.

The Margate Games include Invisible Flock’s If You Go Away, being developed for mobile phones and involving imaginary journeys against real life settings.

Seb’s shooting game combines actual shooting with digital technology and laser targets.

Bogdan is working on using cameras to connect people on line and offline for a Facebook creation with his usual hallmark: making people smile.

Pheebs & RWig are looking for volunteers to test a prototype of their game, Tourist Trap.

They describe it as “a timed, team-based scavenger hunt that pits analogue versus digital in a race across Margate to locate and capture the perfect set of time-bending holiday snaps.

“Players compete to locate and then recreate genuine tourists’ snapshots taken throughout Margate’s history.”

Phoebe said: “We’re interested in researching Margate as a town that has a proud heritage but is also at the point of a major regeneration. The tension between paving a future and preserving the past is something we want to explore through game-play.

Phoebe Marsh (right), from Canterbury, and Rebecca Wigmore, from Ashford, who work together as Pheebs & RWig, are in Margate working on their game Tourist Trap as game-makers on one of four Arts Council-funded residencies for GEEK 2014.

Phoebe Marsh (right), from Canterbury, and Rebecca Wigmore, from Ashford, who work together as Pheebs & RWig, are in Margate working on their game Tourist Trap as game-makers on one of four Arts Council-funded residencies for GEEK 2014.

“As long-time Kent residents, we both love Margate – its history, quirks, flamboyance and scars.”

They will run a prototype of their game at GEEK 2014 on Saturday, February 22. Players can choose whether to recreate their Margate snapshots using analogue with a disposable camera or by digital means

Before that, Pheebs & RWig would like test players this Saturday, February 15, for a trial starting at 1pm. If you are interested, email them:pheebsnrwig@gmail.com

They will be testing the game all afternoon from 1pm and can offer travel expenses.

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