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Videogame Nation

A chance to meet the likes of David Braben, Matthew Smith, Jon Hare and The Oliver Twins in Manchester.

Media Information: immediate distribution

Videogame Nation | events

7 June - 13 September 2009

Urbis, Manchester

£5 each (includes free admission to the Videogame Nation exhibition on the event date only, subject to time restrictions)

As part of a new exhibition 'Videogame Nation' Urbis is offering a rare chance to meet key figures who have shaped the consciousness of a generation with the games they have developed. The brains behind some of the industry's classic

titles: David Braben, 'Elite'; Matthew Smith, 'Manic Miner' and Arthur Parsons, the 'LEGO' series will be amongst those sharing nostalgic anecdotes, answer questions and take part in gaming tournaments.

Chris Delay and Mark Morris on 'Introversion'

Sunday 7 June


A fascinating discussion about the rise of indie game developer 'Introversion'

billed as "the last of the bedroom programmers". 'Introversion' has produced some of the finest PC games to date, among them 'Uplink', DEFCON 'Darwinia' and 'Multiwinia'. This talk will give an insight into indie game development, the problems these teams faced and how they overcame them. The next generation of producers will be able to gather first hand tips from pioneers of the industry.

Jon Hare: Playing for England

Sunday 14 June


The football season is over and without a tournament to see fans through the long summer days, Jon Hare provides some alternative entertainment with his revealing insight into the making of one of Britain's most successful and fondly remembered sports games of all time: 'Sensible Soccer'. Hare will divulge the games deepest secrets and discuss the global expansion into 'Sensible World of Soccer'. Comparing his game to the current football gaming genre's offerings, he will debate what makes a good football game and then round it off with a tournament against the audience.

Getting Dizzy: The Oliver Twins

Sunday 28 June


Quintessentially British, the infamous egg-like character 'Dizzy' was created by The Oliver Twins, founders of Blitz Games Studios when they were teenagers.

There will be a chance to learn how they created the game, how went on to found Blitz Games Studios and their plans for a 3D future. The Oliver Twins explain how they created Dizzy's adventures, which dominated the gaming scene from the 1980s to 1990s, and reveal their plans for a 3D future and whether or not Dizzy will return in a Q&A session.

Matthew Smith: Manic Musings

Sunday 19 July

(2-4 pm)

An insight into the enigma that is Matthew Smith. A chance for visitors to have a glimpse into the weird and wonderful mind which gave us animated toilets and pirouetting rabbits as well as classics such as 'Manic Miner' and 'Jet Set Willy' earning his crown as one of the best Spectrum programmers of all time.

Also, find out where Matthew went when he went missing in 1988 without a trace, leading to an internet hunt to track him down.

Retro Revival

Sunday 26 July

11am- 4pm

Visitors are invited to join Jonathan Cauldwell as he sets about producing a brand new Spectrum game from scratch live at Urbis throughout the day. This is the chance to discover how the games of your childhood were made and a great chance to show children the importance of pure game play, asking whether photo- realistic graphics are key to a good game.

The Godfather: David Braben

Sunday 9 August


Award winning David Braben goes down in history as having created one of the best ever videogames that continues to top polls to this day. Braben was one of the two men behind 1984's massively popular and influential space trading game, 'Elite' from Acornsoft. Visitors are invited to join him as he talks about his time in the industry, the challenges facing gaming today and how it can learn from the past.

Bricking it: Arthur Parsons TTGames

Sunday 16 August

(2-4 pm)

Arthur Parsons, head of design at TTGames and producer of the fantastic LEGO series of games, shows how toys can be fused with videogames to produce spectacular and fun gaming titles. Using characters from some of Hollywood's best loved movies including Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Batman, Arthur explains how they are able to unleash their creativity and produce unique child friendly games that also appeal to adults. Parsons will discuss future projects including 'Harry Potter' and how games and films are becoming ever more closely linked.

Sailing the Ocean Waves

Sunday 6 September


Ocean Software, one of Europe's largest publishers in the 1980s and early 1990s.

It initially published games from independent developers across Britain but after a couple of years, Ocean became a developer and snapped up young, emerging talent to work in-house with an average age of 19. Visitors are invited to join Bill Barbison, Simon Butler and Mark Jones as they reminisce about life on the Ocean wavelength as part of an animated panel discussion before joining them to play some of their most top rated games

Start a Revolution: Charles Cecil

Sunday 13 September


Revolution Studios boss Charles Cecil directed some of gaming's most iconic point and click adventures such as 'Broken Sword' a game which pre-dated 'The Da Vinci Code' by a decade. Visitors are invited to join Charles Cecil as he discusses what makes a good adventure game and why the gaming world is so absorbing.


Tickets available from the Urbis shop, 0161 605 8220 or www.ticketline.co.uk,

0871 424 0047

For more information and images, please contact Anys Scoular at Anita Morris Associates on 01943 603311 or email anys@anitamorrisassociates.co.uk; anita@anitamorrisassociates.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

1. Urbis, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester M4 3BG

Open daily 10am-6pm.

Entry to Urbis is free. Entry into the 'Videogame Nation' exhibition is £3

Tel: 0161 605 8200

info@urbis.org.uk | www.urbis.org.uk

2. Urbis examines, explains and celebrates city life through the experiences

and cultures of the people living there. It is about city lives, city voices and city people. With four floors of evolving displays, dedicated to the modern and future city, and an ambitious events programme, Urbis is about covering what's new, original, and interesting about city life, and covering it first.

3. The £30m construction and development of Urbis was managed by Manchester

City Council Special Projects Team and funded as part of the £42m Manchester Millennium Quarter by the Millennium Commission, the European Regional Development Fund, Manchester City Council and the Department of Local Government, Transport and the Regions (DLTR) and the Northwest Development Agency.


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