Autumn Blog

As the brown leaves start to fall, and the temperatures continue to drop, at least in my part of the world, we find more reason to stay indoors and cozy up to warm fires and central heating. However, there are still many gaming exhibits, expos and festivals, developer conferences and LAN parties taking place that are worth leaving the house for. Below, I have created a detailed guide of some exciting, upcoming events that you might find worth your time looking into. You may even spot me at one of them!

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt: 8 September - 24 February

Tired of the usual gaming expos that offer nothing other than playing a wide range of commercial and indie titles? Ever wondered how the games you play were designed, or better yet, ever thought about the social and political implications within certain games?
Well, look no further because the Victoria and Albert Museum in London are currently hosting an exhibition called Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt that offers visitors a look into some of the most influential and radical games of the last decade and a half. These include Journey, The Last of Us, EVE Online and Minecraft, to name a few.
The exhibit is split into three sections, hence the name, and tries to relay the impact of the artistic, emotional, sexual and political themes found in video games since the early noughties.
The Design part showcases the thought process and inspirations that went into designing some very interesting games. It includes design documents, spreadsheets, artistic sketches, storyboards and random notes for the games on display. The Disrupt portion of the exhibit focuses more on the social and moral aspects in video games and shows how some games tackle sexuality, gun violence, racism, politics and gender issues. The Play section offers visitors a chance to play some really unique games as well as view a video showreel of how the internet has revolutionized online gaming.
So, if you have some free time between now and Sunday 24 February 2019, head on down to the V&A Museum for an educational showcase of our video gaming culture.

DreamHack Winter: 30 November - 3 December: Jönköping

One of the biggest gaming events in history, DreamHack, returns this winter for another hardcore edition of BYOC LAN gaming, esports, live tournaments and raving! Because there's nothing like bouncing to a little bit of hardstyle and techno tunes after a long day of blasting away your enemies!
This Swedish gaming festival is known to be the biggest LAN party in the world, and it hosts events all over Europe and North America, but what makes this event slightly different from the rest is the fact that the organizers seem to be blending the gaming and music culture into one. Just looking at the aftermovie below and pumping up the volume to the background tune you may be thinking you're watching an aftermovie of a rather high-tech-looking music festival or rave.
In terms of gaming, the usual suspects such as Quake Champions, Counter Strike and Heathstone will be present and attendees can enjoy blazing fast internet connection speeds, previously being the fastest in the world!

Insomnia64: 19 - 22 April: Birmingham

During the Easter Bank Holiday in April next year, the NEC in Birmingham will once again open its doors to what is considered the Glastonbury of Gaming - Insomnia, the largest LAN party in the UK and a gaming festival of sorts. Just like with any other gaming festival, there will be many different exhibits, including the hottest AAA and indie titles, a retro zone, tabletop gaming, cosplay, VR and tons of merchandise!
What started out back in 1999 as a simple LAN party has now exploded into one massive gaming event for all to enjoy, so much so that the organizers had to relocate Insomnia into the NEC to offer more room for the many thousands of people that currently attend.
The center of focus for this event is still its offering of competitive gaming, as the LAN hall is filled with people bringing their own PCs and consoles and hooking it all up locally to play against each other. Aside from that there are also massive esport and smaller tournaments going on, where you will no doubt see games like League of Legends, Hearthstone and Rocket League being battled out.
Ideally located in the Midlands for all to meet up at, Insomnia is going to once again be the ideal four-day outing for gamers and their families.