Ahead of London Games Festival 2019, we are catching up with the people organising the wide variety of events that make up the Festival Fringe.
Today, British Film Institute video game certification analyst Colm Seeley tells us about (Video) Game Changers which is taking place on Monday 8 April at 6:30pm at the BFI’s Reuben Library
Tell us a bit about your event.
The BFI Reuben Library runs a series of fascinating talks on Monday nights, often tied to the current season at the BFI Southbank cinema. They’ve wanted to do a video games event for ages so they approached the Certification Unit for a collaboration. The audience for the library’s talks is eclectic and enthusiastic but not hugely literate in video games so we wanted an event that could highlight some of the most interesting aspects of games for an audience whose main exposure to them might be through advertising or the odd news article. Another focus was creating an event where panellists could talk critically about games in-depth, looking at mechanics, themes, emotional response and broader culture. We hope this will provide a way for a cinema-going audience to engage with games in a way they’ll be familiar with from film and equally allow a London Games Festival audience an opportunity to explore ideas that don’t get as much airtime in visible games conversations. The panel is stacked with folks with interesting things to say: Julia and Stuart have been exposed to so many of the UK’s most interesting games over the past 4 years through their work in the BFI Certification Unit. Alexander has been both a journalist and a developer so can speak about games on micro- and macroscopic levels. Lottie has just enjoyed huge success with Cultist Simulator, a game with such a unique approach to storytelling. I’m compering the event and I can’t wait to just join the audience and listen to what these people have to say.
Who is this event for?
There’s something in this event for anyone who’s interested in games or curious about them. If you’ve never really engaged with games but want a quick tour of some of the most interesting work from the medium’s recent history, you’ll leave the event looking to track down a Dreamcast! If you’ve been entrenched in games for the past 20-25 years then you’ll get a chance to revisit and really dig into some iconic titles, hopefully gaining some new perspectives and leaving with plenty of ideas to mull over on the way home.
Why should people come along?
To hear some interesting people talk about some interesting games in a beautiful library.
Why were you keen to be involved in London Games Festival?
I’ve been attending the London Games Festival since 2016 both officially as part of the BFI and as a regular punter. It’s such a vibrant and varied celebration of games and culture; I’ve discovered so many new experiences and met so many new people through it. We planned the date of the event to coincide with the London Games Festival in the hope that we’d be accepted as part of the Fringe and we’re honoured to be a part of it.
What games do you enjoy?
Right now I’m working through Into The Breach on Switch. It’s such a perfect distillation of the strategy genre and so much work has gone into making its world and presentation evocative. I’m a big Street Fighter V player as well – an M. Bison main. I entered my first tournament a couple of weeks ago but was immediately eliminated from it, so I’m working towards getting that first win. I was struck by how fun and social the non-tournament matches in the venue were. I play a lot of multiplayer games socially – my friends and I are enjoying Apex Legends and Battlefield V. I’m trying to resurrect interest in Rainbow Six: Siege, though; I’ve spent most of my adult life hoping for a true successor to Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory’s Spies vs Mercs mode and Rainbow Six is the best we’ve got. I’ve just finished playing through Rise of the Tomb Raider with my partner; we’re moving onto What Remains of Edith Finch next.