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Gamasutra attended the unique GameCity event held recently in Nottingham, UK, and here presents impressions of the event and how it differs, somewhat refreshingly, from the conventional game convention.

Tom Kim, Blogger

November 6, 2008

2 Min Read

Most gaming conferences target their appeal to the game-playing public, die-hard fans, the retail trade or toward game developers -- as a true cultural festival, Nottingham's GameCity has a distinctly unique vibe. The third annual event, held October 30 through November 1, was presented in cooperation with the UK's Nottingham-Trent University and the city of Nottingham itself, whose varied locations served as a fitting backdrop to the variety of cultural presentations that defined the event. Most of the main talks took place at the Gatecrasher, a functioning night club converted to the event's central presentation space. Several other events were located within easy walking distance from Nottingham's main Market Square: an Indiecade exhibit of independent games at the Malt Cross gallery, individual speaker talks and workshops at Waterstone's, and public demonstrations of Nintendo Wii games and Sony EyeToy games in the main square. GameCity differs from most game conferences in that it's intended to appeal to a different kind of audience: the culturally curious. This year's event drew a wide audience of academics and students, alongside the general public -- many Nottingham residents, and notably parents dragged along by eager kids. The presentations at the conference were appropriately varied in focus: the speakers were asked to target their talks to a general audience, so most of the presentations weren't so much news items as historical or retrospective in nature. Because of the more casual nature of the venues and the crowd, the speakers responded with a refreshing candor. For example, all of them came without the usual accompanying body of press representatives and handlers. Gamasutra attended the event and will present our series of commentaries on some of the festival's standout presentations over the next few days - keep checking this central post for links to each of the individual write-ups.

About the Author(s)

Tom Kim


Tom Kim is the host and executive producer of the Gamasutra Podcast on GDC Radio (http://www.gdcradio.net/gamasutra_podcast), an editorial and commentary show covering important issues facing the game development community and game culture. Tom is a lifelong avid gamer going back to 1978, honing his nascent gaming skills on Sears Tele-Games Pong and some of the earliest PC games on the original Apple ][. He has worked as a graphic designer, art director, interactive designer, game designer and producer. He has over 16 years experience as an art director, creative director, and marketing consultant for companies such as BMW of North America, Bungie Software, Circuit City Stores, Konami of North America, LucasArts Games, Nintendo of America, Proctor & Gamble, Samsung Electronics Worldwide, Sony Online Entertainment, Walgreen Co., and others. Tom graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. degree in neurobiology, and attended DigiPen Institute of Technology's program in Real-Time Interactive Simulation. He is an active member of the Chicago chapter of the International Game Developers Association. He lives in the 'burbs with his lovely wife and son who can both beat him handily in Wii Sports Boxing.

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