Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Playful: Game Design London

Event taking place as part of the London Games Fringe.

Playful: Game Design London will be a day of talking about videogames and playful things, and exploring how to make them more meaningful to more people, as well as how to apply game design and play across different disciplines. Television needs games for the web, web design needs elements of play, and advertisers need the communities that come together through gaming.

The event will promote lively debate on the nature of games: what they mean to different people – both inside and outside the industry. Focusing on the creative and cultural dimensions, Playful examines game design as both a discipline and craft, offering different perspectives on its current and future possibilities.

Rob Cooper, Ubisoft’s Managing Director for Northern Europe said: “Ubisoft believes that creativity and innovation is the most important function of our business at the moment. Playful provides a unique foundation to look at ways we can all push the boundaries of game design and interactive storytelling, and we are really excited to be supporting this event as part of the London Games Festival Fringe.”

Iain Tate, co-founder of top London design agency Poke said, “All this play is doing funny things to us. Games are creating experience, interface and playfulness expectations. We all need to care about games. And perhaps we need to think about them a little differently.”

Now in it’s third year, Playful (previously known as Sense Of Play) 2008 has a line-up that is second to none.

Toby Barnes, Managing Director of Pixel-Lab (producers of the event), said: “We’re really pleased to have such a wide range of people coming who are all so passionate about games and their important cultural role. They have all got their own things to show that will entertain and inspire those who attend, and also light the way for future discussions on the important role of Game Design and play in a range of disciplines.”

The day begins at 9:30AM and is packed full of speakers. Roo Reynolds will be showing us how to hack a Guitar Hero guitar to make a real playable MIDI instrument; James Wallis (Spaaace) will tell us how all modern gaming can be traced back to a short piece of experimental writing from the mid-60’s; and Tanya Krzywinska is coming from Brunel University to talk about Horror and games.

…and that’s all before 11AM. Playful is also over the moon to have Iain Tate (Poke), Russell Davies (Interesting), Chris Delay (Introversion), Adrian & Dan Hon (Six To Start), Jolyon Webb (Blitz Games Studios), and more covering subjects from procedural cities to games in social media. Iain Tate and Russell Davies will also team up over lunch to serenade the audience with their Nintendo DS powered Electroplankton Orchestra – another display of musical games being used for things other than what

they were invented for.

“Games and ‘the real world’ are increasingly overlapping in some interesting ways,” says Roo Reynolds, “They are interfacing more and more, and Playful is the place to discover what that means, and where

we can go with it.”

Tickets are £25 from



Playful: Game Design London will take place at Conway Hall (25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL) from 9:30AM until 5PM. It is produced by Pixel-Lab and is part of the London Games Fringe, and supported by the

London Development Agency.

About London Games Fringe

Game Design London is part of the London Games Fringe, a festival of alternative gaming events at the end of October 2008, organised by artists, academics, gamers, game developers, educators and creative professionals from a wide range of different media.

About Pixel-Lab

Playful: Game Design London is produced by Pixel-Lab, a computer games and digital media development agency working across the UK’s computer game and digital media industries. Pixel-Lab advises, develops and delivers strategies to support growth in the games industry from skills development to support infrastructure. Pixel-Lab also works with organisations outside the industry, enabling them to harness the power of games.

About The London Development Agency

The LDA aims to improve the quality of life for all Londoners – working to create jobs, develop skills and promote economic growth. The Skillset Sessions are being supported with £50,000 in funds from the LDA, as part of its overall programme of investment to boost the international competitiveness of London’s video ames industry and widening access employment opportunities in the sector to as many Londoners as possible.

GamesIndustry International avatar

GamesIndustry International


GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating and