Next month’s Yorkshire Games Festival at the National Science and Media Museum presents a weekend for videogamers of all ages, featuring a range of new games, interactive live shows and challenges, plus industry insight and careers advice from the British Esports Association.
The Let’s Play family weekend on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February 2020 takes place throughout the museum. Younger visitors can beta-test new developments from Northern developers, compete in an esports tournament and discover new games from CBBC. Parents, guardians and carers are encouraged to play along and join in the fun too.
Highlights include the Northern Games Showcase which gives a platform for local developers to present their new games to a family-friendly audience. This year it will feature recent VR titles from two Leeds-based studios—The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure from XR Games, and Spaceteam VR by Cooperative Innovations; plus Pixelcount Studios, who boast ex-Lionhead Studios (Fable) developers, are bringing their game Kynseed; and Magic Leap, producers of mixed reality headset systems, will be giving demos of their equipment.
There will also be a chance to play Nightfall, the BBC’s first major online multiplayer game, alongside CBBC’s developers. Players can join the ranks of the Nightfallers and work as a team to protect the dream world from the Nightmares and their minions.
Bradford gaming fanatics Button Mash will be at the museum to indulge visitors in the wonderful world of analogue gaming. With a small mountain of tabletop games ranging from board games through to card games, the museum’s Kodak Gallery will be turned into a tabletop gamer’s heaven.
On Saturday visitors can take part in a discussion about who is responsible for gaming behaviours in our children—the subject of a panel debate chaired by videogames presenter and journalist Alysia Judge. This panel will bring together industry professionals and families to discuss; free tickets can be booked online.
For aspiring videogames professionals there will be an opportunity to compete in an esports tournament and meet representatives of the British Esports Association to find out what it takes to make a career in the industry.
Family favourite movie Detective Pikachu will be showing at 10.30 on Saturday and Sunday in the museum’s Cubby Broccoli cinema. Tickets for film screenings can be booked through the museum website.
Before Christmas the museum added more speakers to the festival’s impressive line-up, including Sabrina Carmona, Senior Producer at King, known for the mega-hit Candy Crush Saga, who will be speaking on Thursday 6 February 2020, and William Pugh, founder of Crows Crows Crows and named BAFTA Breakthrough Hit, who is speaking on Friday 7 February 2020.
Following the festival, this half term (15–23 February 2020) the museum is excited to be welcoming CBBC Games for a week of fun for all the family. Try out workshops with the BBC Education team and discover new skills or get a feel for how user testing helps to perfect the development of CBBC’s most popular games. Visitors can also enjoy open play zones with the latest CBBC game releases from Danger Mouse, The Worst Witch, The Dumping Ground and The Next Step.