Behind the scenes with Iain Simons, director of GameCity

GameCity8 logo

GameCity8 takes place at venues across Nottingham city centre and it officially starts on Saturday 19 October. But there will be a virtual firework display in the Old Market Square to get things off with a real bang, starting at 7:30pm on Friday 18 October.

Prior the event, Iain Simons, director of GameCity, answered some questions about the festival itself, as well as revealing some of his favourite spots in Notts.


How long has GameCity been running for? This will be the eighth year we’ve done it. Someone asked the other day what plans we were making for the tenth anniversary which made me feel surprised, proud and slightly nauseous in equal measure.  

Old Market Square, GameCityHow has GameCity evolved over the years? We’ve certainly grown in terms of the amount of the city we try to take over and of course in terms of the amount of people who come along. We’ve never aimed to grow it in size, rather we’ve always tried to create different ideas every year and explore new ways to engage different kinds of people.

What are you most looking forward to about this year’s festival? I’m really looking forward to the Two Big Screens project in Nottingham’s Old Market Square. We’ve never done anything like that before. In many respects, this year feels like the first year again because there are so many new things that we’re trying out for the first time. That’s what I like about the festival most really, the surprises. 

Do you have a favourite game? Like most lapsed gamers, I have a huge soft spot for the stuff I played when I was younger. I love the old Lucasarts Adventures, “The Secret of Monkey Island” and also have a particular soft-spot for Jeff Minter’s work which everyone should check out.

GameCity handheldCan non-gamers enjoy the festival too? Of course! They’ll probably enjoy it more than the hardcore gamers, to be honest.  

How can families enjoy the festival as well as students and adults? A lot of what we do is about the place of games in families, so we have a lot of events that are directly aimed at those groups. We like to explore games as something you can do with each other, as well as alone.

What are your favourite places to visit in Nottinghamshire when you are relaxing? We spend a lot of time out at Sherwood Pines, which is always busy but never seems to be crowded. I’d like to do a project in a forest.

Best place for a post-festival drink? Wherever we start, we usually end up in the Peacock on Mansfield Road which I love dearly and has had a key role to play in a lot of GameCity history, although it probably doesn’t know it. Incidentally, it’s also celebrity game developer Keita Takahashi’s favourite pub. FACT!

Favourite place for a post-festival meal? It would be unfair of me to say anywhere other than the Mogal-e-Azam Indian restaurant, where we staged some of the first events that began to lead to the festival way back in 2003.

GameCity entertainment



For all the latest updates on events throughout the festival visit

Posted on 18 October 2013
Featured author: Carly Jones PR Assistant

Chocolate and animal lover, who has landed lucky in a job I love! #lovenotts

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