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Home   Thanet   News   Article

Nearly 4,000 game players attended games expo GEEK 2014 at Margate's Winter Gardens.

27 February 2014
by Mary Louis

The third annual event, hailed as the South East’s largest gaming expo, attracted nearly 3,800 people to Margate’s Winter Gardens.

Visitors came from as far away as the United States, Holland and elsewhere in Europe.

It was the third family festival of gaming, and director Kate Kneale described the response as “an amazing turnout”.

A Cosplay trophy winner at GEEK 2014 at the Winter Gardens. Picture David Good.

A Cosplay trophy winner at GEEK 2014 at the Winter Gardens. Picture: David Good.

She added that the event’s success well and truly dispelled
the myth that gaming was the “solitary pursuit of teenage boys”, and that it confirmed the activity bridged generations and genders.

Ms Kneale said the highlights of the expo were numerous, but one special feature was the Margate games with Arts Council funding for four game-maker residencies drawing inspiration from tales of the ghost in the Winter Gardens, the sideshows on the seafront and old holiday snapshots.

She said: “The Indie Zone this year really put game making at the heart of GEEK. It was great for us and great for the indies who came. We had really positive feedback.

Even babies had fun at GEEK 2014 at Margate's Winter Gardens. Picture David Good.

Even babies had fun at GEEK 2014 at Margate's Winter Gardens. Picture: David Good.

“GEEK is a games lab where games can be tested. The indies are amazing.”

The feedback had been “overwhelmingly positive,” she added.

First some Cosplay and then a chance to try out the prototype of the revolutionary Occulist Rift gaming headset at GEEK 2014.

First some Cosplay and then a chance to try out the prototype of the revolutionary Occulist Rift gaming headset at GEEK 2014.

She said people had missed the pinball arcade but agreed the Minecraft Cave, set up by popular demand, was a great addition.

Ms Kneale said she was sorry more schools had not attended.

Already planning the next GEEK, she said the number of workshops would be increased and there would be more talks for parents.

Suggestions for future features included internet safety, different coding languages and careers in gaming.

“We would love suggestions from people to help us build the programme,” she added.

“GEEK is only possible because of the amazing support it receives from its volunteers.

“Volunteering at GEEK can lead to work experience and employment opportunities; it has for several volunteers.

“The idea is to be useful and not exploit the amazing skills and talents of our volunteers.”

Ms Kneale voiced her heartfelt thanks to all who had contributed, including speakers, helpers, her family, sponsors and supporters.

GEEK 2014 at Margate's Winter Gardens.

GEEK 2014 at Margate's Winter Gardens.

She added: “GEEK is organised by a Margate-based social enterprise. If GEEK could do more than break even, any profits would be used for further events, which hopefully will lead to creating employment opportunities in the local area.”

See www.geek2014.co.uk for more on the three-day expo.

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Click here for more news from around the county.

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