Monday, 22 October 2012

Game City 7 hits Nottingham!

Gamecity 7 is definitely this!
It's that time of the year again where Mum's lose their sons and wives lose their husbands all thanks to...Game City. No really, thank you Game City! Now pass that white wine and Pride & Prejudice DVD...

This videogame festival showcases games and game culture and we're lucky enough to have it happen right on our doorstep in Nottingham. Over the years I've done a few cakey things for Game City and I get so excited as the October half term approaches as my husband is a real retro games enthusiast and my 8yr old is slowly becoming attached to any games console he can find...
This year there has been a lot of publicity about 'opening up the festival' to people of all ages so I thought we'd head down and check it out. We decided to just venture into the main tented area on the Market Square as it seemed most family friendly - and easy to escape if tantrums/toilet trips/hunger/thirst occurred.

My 8yr old was in gamer heaven as we entered the door. Lots of colours, screens and beanbags were scattered around to entice you into playing games and generally get involved in the day. All of the games on demo were made by the Dev Soc (Nottingham Trent University Developers Society) and the creators behind each game were fab. They were really easy to chat to and invited us to play their games at length - I was also massively impressed that they took the time to chat to Fin and explain the games so thoroughly to him. A lot of people shy away from actually 'talking' to kids so this took the pressure off of my husband and he could just play alongside.

The games on the day were courtesy of the develops from Dev Soc.
Meanwhile, Milo and I decided to check out the colouring tables and chalkboard walls. Lots of pens, paper and general art materials were laid out (which Milo loved) but I couldn't get anyone to explain what we were supposed to do with them. There was a lot of stewards around and even some sat at our colouring table but no-one tried to engage with us and it was only later on that I discovered that we were supposed to make things and stick them to the walls so we made a little 'M' and duly stuck it on.

Sssshhh - art in progress.
Done! Now let's get Thomas to help stick this to the wall
This was probably my only feedback from the whole experience actually, there was a real opportunity for the stewards to chat to us and tell us more about the event throughout the city and maybe even suggest other family events happening throughout the week. I can imagine that it's not easy for everyone to engage people but on the flipside they all seemed very approachable so I'm sure we could have asked them lots of questions if we had any burning questions. Phil also observed this when they played on the Minecraft computers - they had no idea what was going on and Fin really seemed keen to get involved so they quickly had to move on from that demo as Phil had no idea what they were supposed to be doing.

Umm, yes Fin this is Minecraft and you play it like this...umm, let's just move on...
Fin was really eager to have a go at the 'Get in top' trampoline activated game and even though he didn't win his game he LOVED IT! Look - thumbs up and everything!

Get on top - the only kids game to encourage kids to get active!
Massive thumbs up from Fin
Fin's already asking when we can go again this week so his Dad will be taking him along to another event before the week is out. I'd definitely recommend getting down there if you can - check out the website before you go as it seems there are some cool looking kiddy friendly events happening this week.

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