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Gamers unite! Norwich Gaming Festival delights young and old

PUBLISHED: 15:56 29 May 2018 | UPDATED: 20:27 29 May 2018

Kieran Barker enjoying the VR game at the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Kieran Barker enjoying the VR game at the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

It all started with a simple tennis game named Pong - but now gamers are relishing in more life-like experiences at the Norwich Gaming Festival.

Jennifer Cady with her grandson George Eglington at the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival.
Picture: Nick ButcherJennifer Cady with her grandson George Eglington at the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival. Picture: Nick Butcher

Adults and children alike grabbed their controllers and set in for hours of intense gaming yesterday for the popular computer gaming festival at The Forum.

The week-long experience in Norwich explores the future, past and present of online and console games.

The free family-friendly festival celebrates the latest video games released, respects the classic retro games and educates festival attendees on coding and game development technology.

According to organisers, the Norwich Gaming Festival is designed to break down the stigma of gaming. What was once viewed as an anti-social activity is now a career prospect and a creative outlet.

Norwich Gaming Festival event organiser Richard Smith.
Picture: Nick ButcherNorwich Gaming Festival event organiser Richard Smith. Picture: Nick Butcher

Grandmother Jennifer Cady took her seven-year-old grandson George to the Norwich Gaming Festival and learned the ropes of competitive gaming.

“I don’t play much, back in my day we had board games and we wouldn’t have been able to afford anything like this,” she said.

“I can’t keep up with it all - I have to learn off the grandchildren.”

The festival plays host to events, workshops and talks throughout the week.

Eli Gray with his mum Angel at the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival at the Forum.
Picture: Nick ButcherEli Gray with his mum Angel at the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival at the Forum. Picture: Nick Butcher

The industry-based talks at The Forum include information sessions about women in the industry, career opportunities and the courses you can study to become a game developer.

But none of these compare to the highly anticipated event at the festival - design your dream game.

The dream game maker workshop develops and builds a game in front of a live audience. The workshop will demonstrate how developers build the game in an hour from suggestions by the audience.

Last year’s audience developed an independent game based around an audience member and a chicken.

Lewis Eastwood enjoying the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival at the Forum.
Picture: Nick ButcherLewis Eastwood enjoying the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival at the Forum. Picture: Nick Butcher

A record number of independent game developers have joined this year’s event to showcase their work. More than 60 indie game developers have visited on Norwich for the week, including IT worker Quang Nguyen.

Mr Nguyen developed the adorable flying cat game, MaoMao Castle.

“It is based on the classic arcade game experience, a mixture of Space Harrier and the Never Ending Story,” Mr Nguyen said.

The Norwich Gaming Festival will run until Sunday, June 3 at The Forum.


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