Tinderbox PlayAway Games Festival

Online festival featuring over 30 game designers, artists, composers, researchers, educators and others involved in games.

Tinderbox Playaway Games Festival 2021

Over 2 weeks, from Monday 22 February – Friday 5 March, Tinderbox PlayAway Games Festival will be showcasing and celebrating the creativity, diversity, innovation and imagination in games and interactive media.

More than 30 game designers, artists, composers, educators and others involved in games will be getting together through a series of panel discussions, workshops, demos, music performances, virtual play sessions and game jams.

At a time when so many people across the world are moving on-line due to the pandemic, the team at Tinderbox have turned to the Games industry for inspiration, to ask how games are adapting and responding to the pandemic, and to explore what role they could play looking ahead.

As well as a festival for people involved in games, Tinderbox PlayAway welcomes people from other sectors and different artforms. A range of speakers and events will explore some of the cross-sections between games and education, well-being, research, music, theatre and other areas, and it hopes to prompt new ideas, discussions and collaborations.

Games are such an exciting artform with so much depth and possibilities – they use all sorts of creative formats and technologies, inviting people to collaborate, communicate and explore ideas, and always with a playful ethos. We hope this festival will showcase some of this variety and create new connections and conversations with people from different sectors, including those who might not know much about games – yet!- Festival director Luci Holland

Festival Highlights

Can't decide what to see? Here's our picks of what not to miss.

Jane McGonigal Keynote: Fireside Conversation & Q&A

Monday 22 February at 6pm

Jane McGonigal, PhD, is the Director of Game Research + Development at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California. She is the author of two New York Times bestselling books: Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully. Her TED talks on how games can make a better world have more than 15 million views.

“We all need a boost of creativity and imagination right now, so I’m thrilled that the festival invited me to share my research. Games are a powerful, renewable source of positive emotions and social connection. And in the past few years, game scientists have found that there are specific ways we can play to get the most benefits and the biggest resilience boost. I can’t wait to share what we’ve learned!”

Headshot of Jane McGonigal
Jane McGonigal

Chipzel – Live Music Headline

Friday 5 March at 7:15pm

Chipzel is best known for making chiptune music, particularly with a Game Boy. She is also a video game music composer known for game soundtracks such as Super Hexagon, Interstellaria, and Dicey Dungeons.

Photo of Chipzel wearing a yellow jumper

Game Composer Panel

Friday 5 March at 6pm

Join media composers Nainita Desai (Telling Lies) and Guy Jackson (Sea of Solitude) in a discussion with Jenny Nelson (Scala Radio) on their careers and journeys in game music.

Photo of Nainita Desai in black and white
Nainita Desai

Game Designer Panel

Monday 22 February at 7:15pm

A panel discussion featuring Jon McKellan (No Code – Observation, Stories Untold), Dan Pinchbeck (The Chinese Room – Dear Esther, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Little Orpheus) and Shay Thompson (BBC Sounds, Press X To Continue)

Photo of Shay Thompson
Shay Thompson

Bitsy One-Day Game Jam!

Tuesday 2 March at 9am

A theme will be announced in the morning, and the jam will end with a Twitch play-through of the games submitted at 7pm with Let’s Player Zoë Sams.

Tinderbox Playaway Games Festival Bitsy Game Jam!

Mixed Realities: Virtual and Physical Interaction

A discussion with artists and game designers who explore the cross-over between virtual and physical experiences, such as alternate reality games (ARGs) and interactive theatre and comedy.

Foxdog Studios
Foxdog Studios

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now at tinderboxcollective.org

This article was published on 18 Feb 2021