Home   What's On   News   Article

GEEK 2015 at Margate Winter Gardens, February 2015

With retro games, old favourites and indie developers’ creations, there isn’t anything hipper than gaming festival GEEK this weekend.

Gaming's a serious business for Angus Beer
Gaming's a serious business for Angus Beer

GEEK is back and bigger than ever before.

Organisers are preparing to transform Margate’s Winter Gardens into a glowing hive of board games, consoles and competitions.

Contributors will be making the journey from across the UK and Europe this week for the fourth gaming festival, which takes place at several venues across the town.

GEEK 2015 has something for everyone, whether they want to play and compete, relax and try out something new, learn new skills or get an idea of their dream job using games and technology.

The festival has begun to attract international attention, with tickets being sold to visitors from the USA.

The action will be filmed by the Welsh TV show Y Lle.

Presenter Nick Patterson said: “From what I have seen in previous years, the set-up looks incredible.

“I think the difference here is that it’s not a case of publishers shoving new games down your throat, with hours and hours of queueing just to play the newest game.

“It’s for a real love for gaming at its core, not just for the latest and greatest.” YouTube stars Team PietSmiet will also be gathering in Margate to take part. The German team said they were excited about the festival: “We are looking forward to meeting and connecting with international fans of the greatest hobby in the world – video games.

“Most gaming events we attend are huge and we use our time to write autographs, take selfies or give interviews.

“GEEK is international and personal so we can indulge in just being gamers.”

Author Ian Livingstone
Author Ian Livingstone

People have been inventing ways to share stories for thousands of years, whether aloud over a coffee with a friend, in song, blogs or on the pages of a paperback book.

Stories make up part of daily life and also provide the backbone of any good game.

That why the organisers of 2015’s GEEK festival are experimenting with a new way to create one and they are calling upon the help of those who attend the festival.

A story has been started by fantasy author Ian Livingstone but with only an opening paragraph to work from, it will be down to festival-goers to keep it going. They will be invited to play through the story so far and then be challenged to continue it.

With the help of online interactive story tool Twine people will be able to add the next part of the tale and provide images and artwork to help illustrate the story.

The GEEK team appears determined to question what it is to make a game and to be a gamer. How stories are told is just one part of that. Far from the reputation gamers have for running entirely on fizzy drinks and junk food, the weekend is being fuelled by Bar 15, a health bar produced in Ramsgate.

Story Sunday will conclude with a final reading of the interactive tale by a professional storyteller. The challenge will then continue at home to finish the tale and win a signed copy of one of Ian’s books, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Story Sunday takes place on February 22 at the GEEK festival.

Ziggy Newman as Zonic
Ziggy Newman as Zonic

The Milo Wladek Company has been commissioned from Marine Studios in Margate to create a new work for the festival. The Van Dyck Vanishments, is a live point-and-click adventure that journeys through art history. Endless Horizons Ltd have acquired three self-portraits from Turner Contemporary’s latest exhibition, Self: Image and Identity. Director Simon Ryninks said: “We’re creating a real-life video game in the vein of classics like Monkey Island and Broken Sword. We’re also creating a downloadable digital app and a board game version.”

GEEK 2015 begins on Friday, February 20 until Sunday, February 22 at the Margate Winter Gardens. Times vary: each day begins at 11am. Friday ends at 5.30pm then reopens for late night gaming from 7.30pm until 11pm. Saturday runs until 11pm. Sunday closes at 5pm.

Day tickets for Friday and Sunday start at £14 for adults in advance, £8 for children in advance and £39 for families in advance and cost more at the door. Day tickets for Saturday start at £15 for adults in advance, £8.50 for children in advance and £42 for families in advance and cost more at the door. Visit www.geek-play.com

Artists from across the continent are coming to GEEK to add to the weekend of art and science.

A number of games, shows and costumes will be on display as part of GEEK Fringe.

For the first time, games made in Margate will be featured at GEEK. They will be play tested once developed by students from the Marlowe Academy.

And the entertainment will not all be confined to the Winter Gardens.

There will be a ‘Blister Cinema’ in Panay Fashions, which used to be a clothes shop, opposite the Margate Clock Tower.

Players will get the chance to experience a room full of microbial micro-games using Kinect sensors.

Created by local art group Genetic Moo, the player acts as a deadly bacteria inside an infected human blister. The educational game is inside a three-dimensional dome with interactive projections.

The Blister Cinema will be free entry and open from noon to 6pm from Friday to Sunday.

There will also be a Minecraft challenge in which gamers will be set the task of contributing to ‘The GEEK Amusement Park’ with prizes awarded to those who come up with the best rides.

There are already 60 participants signed up to the challenge and getting into the theme park spirit ahead of the reopening of Dreamland this year.

Mars One Extended is a series of performances which will see Catharina Cronenberger Golebiowska trapped inside a Martian capsule.

The live shows will take place in the Winter Gardens at 5pm on Friday, 2.40pm on Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday.

Other festivities include Socially Searching, a social media adventure which will cross continents depending on weather.

There will also be a new tourism venture called Endless Horizons, inviting visitors to climb into paintings.

A full list of shows and games is available at www.geek-play.com/projects.html

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More