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Geek returns to the Winter Gardens, Margate, with Minecraft and guest speaker Ian Livingstone among top attractions

17 January 2014
by Mary Louis

Gamers from around the UK are counting down the days to Geek 2014 at Margate ‘s Winter Gardens.

This year’s exciting festival of on-screen fun and games takes place at half term, from February 21-23, and will be packed with great opportunities to “meet, make, play.”

The festival is being staged for the third time in Margate and promises to be the biggest and best yet.

Organisers say its county date is “really exciting” for Kent, let alone Thanet, drawing in some of the cream of the industry’s talent and creativity.

Special features this year include a lot more Minecraft, by popular demand, with Multiplay and links to the Minecon Festival in North America. At the biggest half term Minecraft gathering, there will be a Minecraft cave and 16 Xbox Ones.

There will be two weeks of Creative Build, prior to the festival. With Dreamland in mind, local people are invited to build their own fantastic amusement park, with prizes to be awarded during Geek 2014.

Replay Events will return with their collection of retro consoles and arcade games. Replay will be hosting tournaments – both retro and in the 360 ring. Popular tournaments will include Halo, Street Fighter and Mario Kart

There will be a 40-year historic timeline showing how games have developed and offering players the chance to play “through the decades”.

Arts Council funding has enabled four artist game maker residencies to be included at Geek. There were 55 applications from across the UK and Europe.

Festival organiser Kate Kneale said they were all “exciting, bold, creative and innovative” but had eventually been narrowed down to four: Seb Lee-Delisle, Invisible Flock, Bogdan Spanjevic and Pheebs and Rwig. They have been tasked with creating a game inspired by Margate.

Encouraging Programming In Kent (EPIK) will be running eight coding hubs at Geek and providing talks and workshops as part of a host that will be going on.

Particularly relevant to teachers and parents will be input from keynote speaker Ian Livingstone, co-author of the Hope-Livingstone report, and advisor to the Government on relevant ICT skills children need to be taught in schools. His return to Geek, after his visit in 2012, is pertinent at a time of major changes to the ICT curriculum.

There will be an extensive Indie Zone and a chance to buy at the great Geek marketplace.

Tickets are already starting to fly.

Single 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 (adult), £12 (child) and £20 (concession). Three-day passes are £36 (adult), £18 (child) and £30 (concession). Special rates are available for groups and people who are registered disabled. For more details contact the box office on 01843 296111.

Find out more about the festival in future issues of the Thanet Extra and at: and by visiting GEEK 2014 on Facebook and Twitter @GEEK_2014

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