‘The Games Europe Plays’

Toca Boca games have racked up 35,000 5-star ratings on iTunes.

Toca Boca games, which will be present at ‘The Games Europe Plays’ , have racked up 35,000 5-star ratings on iTunes.

The Games Europe Plays is an exhibition showcasing the most exciting independent European digital games for young people (4+) and families at the Finnish Institute in London (2 – 10 April) as part of the London Games Festival Fringe launching on April 1st.

London Games Festival is an exciting new celebration of the art, culture and business of video games. Running from 1 to 10 April 2016, the festival includes 15 official events across 10 different locations, engaging tens of thousands with video games and play, plus a Festival Fringe includes an array of diverse and alternative events. The festival is powered by Games London, a groundbreaking new programme to support, grow and promote the games and interactive entertainment sector in the UK capital.

Part of London Games Festival, is “The Games Europe Plays”, which showcases the most exciting independent European digital games for young people (4+) and families, from full-bodied gaming interactive installations as well as screen-based games and apps. It will happen at the Finnish Institute in London.

The exhibition is the first in a series of three shows initiated by EUNIC London (the network of the cultural institutes and embassies from the member states of the European Union in London) and curated by body technologist and digital expert Ghislaine Boddington to give visibility to the booming and vivid European gaming scene within the UK.

Co-founder and Creative Director of body>data>space and Women Shift Digital, Ghislaine Boddington is a curator, presenter and thought leader specialising in body responsive technologies. Ghislaine is recognised as an international pioneer advocating the use of the entire body as a digital interaction canvas for over 25 years. A co-creator and director of many art works exploring the hyper enhancement of our human senses through the digital and a lead director of international multi-partner projects, she is co-curator of FutureFest – a festival powered by innovation foundation Nesta and is a Reader at University of Greenwich.

Ghislaine Boddington

Ghislaine Boddington

“The Games Europe Plays” will happen as well in July/August at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery at the University of Greenwich and finally in September 2016 as an exhibition as part of FutureFest – a festival powered by innovation foundation Nesta.

The exhibition at the Finnish Institute in London features children’s games by Gigglebug (Finland), Toca Boca (Sweden), Tine Bech (Denmark/UK), Peter Lu & Lea Schönfelder (Germany) and Amanita (Czech Republic) all looking at learning through play, multi-identity, representation and future skills for young people.

“Gaming today has gone digital and is evolving into some wonderful new forms, enabling us to envision future scenarios in which gaming experiences are at the centre of work and play. New formats use the whole of our bodies into the game, both through physical interactions and through exploring digital representations of ourselves. The exhibition allows us to explore a European perspective on the evolution of games for the future.” Ghislaine Boddington says.

Thursday 7 April at 6pm will happen “Game Play Europe”, a conversation on making and playing today and in the future. The conversation will be moderated by curator Ghislaine Boddington and its panellists will include journalist and TV presenter Kate Russell (UK), play artist Tine Bech (Denmark/UK) and the Director of the Finnish game industry hub neogames KooPee Hiltunen. The debate will look at career developments for young people in the future gaming industry, creativity/collaboration in design, gender perspectives in gaming and the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, Maths) agenda.

The questions and points the event aims to explore are:

  • What is the educational value of digital games and play?
  •  How can games stimulate imagination and creativity?
  •  How can digital games bring young people and families together for inter-generational learning and fun?
  • What are the future creative skills needed by young people?
  •  How video games are representing women and gender? Is the future of gaming genderless?
  • How do young people represent themselves in virtual space and gaming?

The event is supported by the British Council, the Czech Centre, the Danish Embassy, the Goethe-Institut London and the Swedish Embassy.

More information:

The exhibition is open to the public from 2 – 10 April 2016: Mon, Wed-Fri 12am-6pm, Tues 12am-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm / for everyone from 4 years old. Tweet us at #GamesEU
Finnish Institute in London, Unit 1, 3 York Way, London N1C 4AE
Press View: Friday 1 April at 11am, please rsvp to animaya.grant@finnish-institute.org.uk
Press contacts: Marie Proffit: marie@bodydataspace.net
Animaya Grant: animaya.grant@finnish-institute.org.uk