PLAY 19- Creative Gaming Festival
Your spaceship is stranded on an unknown planet. You have to explore your surroundings to survive, but you quickly realize: danger lurks everywhere. Darkness. Ominous silence. And out of the silence, strange creatures burst forth and monsters!
Scenarios like these can be found in a number of games: Dungeons & Dragons, a classic pen-and-paper game, has delighted many game lovers since the 1980s, while role-playing games and first-person shooters add interactive graphics to the gaming experience. Virtual reality games go one step further.
VR glasses create a different reality in which it is possible to move and react. For the game scenario described at the beginning, the controls of the game were explained in a preparation room at the creative gaming festival “PLAY 19” in Hamburg. Afterwards you dive into the world in which you have to escape from your spaceship and put monsters to flight. For the person wearing the VR goggles, this creates a realistic game, intuitively dodging, taking a step back, ducking. All bystanders see only someone with a black box on his head, who staggers around in an absolutely unpredictable way and bumps into all kinds of objects and people. The game could also be controlled calmly and standing in one place, but the physical and emotional reactions are much more intense through the 3D experience than in computer games, for example.
Another game was about playing in a group and in a confined space: One person lies down in a coffin with a smartphone and headphones, and other players stand around him. The goal is to solve puzzles together with other players standing in front of the coffin and finally free oneself from the coffin. Creative Gaming is therefore by no means always the same, but enables very versatile experiences through a wide variety of methods.
More and more people are enjoying trying out such methods themselves. Tables and instructions on a wide range of topics were available in a makerspace: Graphic design, sound effects and small programming. A virtual figure could be programmed with the help of a low-threshold construction kit. In German language, one can thus learn the logic of programming languages and at the same time directly see the results of one’s own programming, which makes programming itself a kind of game.
Of course, the Speakers’ Corner is a must at such an event, as are the numerous training sessions, artist talks and workshops. On one of the four festival days, there was a special offer for schools, which was well attended. The highlight of the event was the Game Award, which is presented every year to innovative games, productions or prototypes. All in all, the PLAY is a versatile offer to get a taste, to inform and to try out, but also to deepen and to network. We are looking forward to the next PLAY…