Cross-disciplinary gaming conference Playful is being held on Friday, featuring talks from Studio Output’s Tom Muller, writer Pat Kane and Paul Bennun, director of digital production company Somethin’ Else.
The speakers come from a number of different disciplines and are connected only by the fact that they deal with games and play within their work.
The conference originally started when the organisers, production company Mudlark, put on a programme featuring a number of speakers that they wanted to see and then it expanded from there.
Fun and unexpected angles is the name of the game at the conference, explains one of Playful’s organisers Mudlark senior producer Richard Birkin. For example, Pat Kane, who wrote The Play Ethic is speaking at the conference but instead of discussing his groundbreaking title, Kane will be talking about one of the few internet sites that makes him laugh, oldjewstellingjokes.com.
Alongside more conventional speakers this year is nine-year-old Beatrice Davy-Sutherland, who will be speaking about the ethics of major games companies. Inspired by Peta’s online game Super Chick Sisters, which educates children about the uncomfortable facts behind the meat industry, Beatrice has spent the last year questioning games companies about why they are not doing more to change the world, and if they are how they are doing it.
Birkin himself is most looking forward to a live Podcast of geek culture show Shift Run Stop, which will feature an interview with former Gamesmaster host Dominik Diamond. Birkin says, ‘It’s going to be so fantastic to have a star of a 90s TV show appear at our conference.’
Playful is at 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1 on 24 September.