What to expect at GameCity9 and The Sheriff’s Gauntlet
GameCity – Europe’s biggest and best-loved cultural video games festival – is just around the corner and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Top of the programme of events is The Sheriff’s Gauntlet, an action-packed FREE family event.
Just ahead the festival, which runs in Nottingham from 25 October to 1 November, director of GameCity Iain Simons, reveals what to expect from this year’s event, how to get involved in The Sheriff’s Gauntlet and plans for its tenth anniversary next year.
What can people who have never been to GameCity before expect?
GameCity is about everyone being able to make games AND everyone being able to play them! So, if you’ve never been before you’ll find a really friendly festival which welcomes everyone into the amazing world of videogames. Most of all we hope if you’ve been before OR if this is your first time – it’ll be surprising!
What locations in Nottingham will the exciting programme of events be taking place?
We’ll be taking place in a few different locations over the week, but the main focus for us is our new building! We’re taking over the old Connexions building in Hockley for the duration, which is going to be the exciting centre of all our activities this time. There will be lots of things that people can get involved with in the building from playing games to cutting and sticking.
As always though we are going to be spreading ourselves over the city. We’ll be playing a specially designed underwater game at the Victoria Swimming Baths, we’re going to be using the Nottingham Central Library for some LIVE text adventures and a whole load of unannounced locations for the Sheriffs Gauntlet.
Now in its ninth year, what is different about this year’s GameCity to the previous years?
Apart from the building … We always treat each festival as a bit of an experiment, a tradition that we’re definitely sticking to this year. We always try to do things that feel interesting and exciting to us and hopefully everyone else will think so too. The old Connexions building is huge. There are five floors and three galleries, all of which we’ve packed with interesting things for you to do. It’s going to be amazing.
What are you most excited about at this year’s event?
There is lots of things that we’ve never done before that we’re trying for the first time.
We’re working with State of Play (who’ve created all of this year’s lovely branding) to create our very first exhibition. It’ll take you inside the making of their beautiful game Lumino City which they’ve made using bits of cards, wood and electric motors. It’s been great working really closely with a developer to create an exhibition. It’s going to be in our venue throughout the festival.
On the Thursday we’re going to be trying something that’s potentially amazing (or really stupid). At midday we’re going to be turning off all of the images throughout the festival and turning it all into text.
Then there is also the Sheriffs Gauntlet of course…
New to this year, explain a little more about the Sheriff’s Gauntlet.
The Sheriff’s Gauntlet is a tradition that goes back to medieval Nottingham. Back then ordinary people worked for the landowning elite and nobody owned land. One of the Sheriffs of Nottingham had the idea to create a competition where the serfs might win some land for themselves – a special event that would bring the people of Nottingham together.
The challenges of these competitions were always unusual. They were not just about being the strongest or the quickest – but being better than you ever thought you could be.
This year we’re bringing back the Sheriff’s Gauntlet. On Saturday 1 November people will be able to participate in a series of secret trials taking place across the city. The winner will get a square metre of land dedicated to them forever. Good, right?
How can people get involved in the Gauntlet?
The best way is to head to our website – www.gamecity.org and sign up to be involved before 27 October. You’ll be asked a bunch of questions when you sign up that will be fed through some complex and indescribable algorithms which will let us know which trails your team will face.
In the lead-up to the event, there will be more information about the Sheriff’s Gauntlet released in the Nottingham Post.
Do you have any big plans yet for the tenth anniversary of GameCity next year? Yes! But we’re not telling you … yet.