Jörg Tittel (RapidEyeMovers) and Matt Burke (Lakes International Comic Arts Festival) have announced a new video game festival that will take place in Kendal in 2024.
It will be called the Humanise Festival of Play, and intends to transform the whole town of Kendal into a playable map, incorporating video game mechanics within the real world in the hopes of creating an interactive and communal in-person experience like a literary or music festival.
Events at humanise will fall into one of three categories, think, feel, or move, and are intended to celebrate the nature of play and the diversity of gaming communities, rather than consumerism. The list of venues taking part so far includes Kendal College’s Mall and The Box Theatre, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars.
Some of the events already announced include an arcade competition with the world’s largest arcade stick, and the world’s first VR eSports tournament for RapidEyeMovers’ game C-Smash VRS. There will also be smaller events taking place around the town, including tabletop RPG and board game sessions, miniature painting meetups, talks from indie developers, live music events and open mic sessions.
“Since their birth in the arcades, video games have been social and physical experiences, bringing people from all ages and backgrounds together in the joy of play,” said Tittel. “With the rise of digital platforms – and accelerated by the challenges of the pandemic – games have been further removed from their roots. Games are not tech. They are culture. With games now the world’s dominant art and entertainment, it is time to celebrate, explore and remind people of what makes games human.”
“Through my roles at LICAF and Kendal Mountain Festival, I have instilled the philosophy of an annual ‘tribal gathering’ being at the heart of each event,” added Burke. “Guests have come to embrace this, with public and visitor interactions forging inspirational experiences, creative conversations and unforgettable interactions.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Humanise Festival of Play as more details become available, you should sign up for the newsletter on the official Humanise festival website to be among the first to receive updates.