The 2012 Edinburgh Interactive Festival has been notable thus far for the stealthy nature of its programming. There are wonderful things happening, but they’ve chosen not to share them with you until they’ve been buffed to a mirror sheen and had extra special sprinkles added.
Now that glamour, and zest has been finalised and the first major elements of the extravaganza have been revealed to you, the industry.
First up we have Thare Be Dragons. A Dragon’s Den homage, in which young, aspiring game design hopefuls (that’s you), will pitch ideas, concepts and ‘games’ to a panel of veterans, pioneers and experts from the wide, wide world o’ interactive entertainment.
The dragons – who will be asking tough questions, and probing the soundness of your idea and business plan – all while lying on a pile of treasure – are:
- Ian Livingstone: Life President SquareEnix/Eidos Europe who set up and sold Games Workshop
- Kelly Sumner: CEO Soccer Matrix Previous CEO Take Two and Red Octane (which he sold to Activision)
- Rob Woodward: CEO Scottish TV formerly CEO of 4Ventures and MD of UBS Warburg
- Bill Liao: Australian social networking pioneer who has taken part in seven IPOs & co-founder of coderdojo.com
Each dragon has £100,000 fake pounds, which can be awarded to entrants. And hey, while the money may not be real, the dragons most certainly are*.
All money awarded is for time and companionship ONLY and does not imply that the dragons will develop your game. Though anything which happens after your pitch is between consenting developer and publisher and nothing that anyone else has to know about. What happens in Edinburgh…
Cleverly, Thare Be Dragons avoid the most common complaint about the Dragon’s Den programme, namely that dragon’s have lairs, not dens.
You apply to be a contestant in the Dragon’s lair by filling in the requisite form.
Next up, the EIF continues to break new ground and smash through boundaries like a big hammer smashing through a boundary. EIF 12 will feature an 18-rated session looking at issues such as S-X and love within videogames.
This is a racy and sensual new development for Edinburgh Interactive and will explore the outer limits of things which are often unexplored, in favour of nun-beating and skimpy armour. According to the organisers:
In recent years the complexity of games has significantly increased. However for players and developers, the core issue remains the same. What makes us come back to the games we ‘love’, and who (how?) do we love in the game itself? How do we fall in love with, and in games? Should we be like The Sims, falling in love and having our children delivered by the social worker, or should we bump and grind with Grand Theft Auto? The answer lies in a number of places, and this panel aims to investigate three of them. The panel touches on sex, relationships, love, obsession and possibly dwarves, in an attempt to understand how and why these issues are so important to games and their players. As part of the Third Wave of gaming scholars, it is time to put aside childish things and start to really engage with difficult, sometimes controversial perspectives.
This panel, moderated by Ren Reynold, Founder of the Virtual Policy Network aims to challenge some of the problems inherent in making ‘sexy’ games.
Joining Ren on the panel will be…
- Mitu Khandaker, Independent game developer (The Tiniest Shark) & videogames PhD researcher, University of Portsmouth, UK
- Ashley Brown, PhD candidate in sociology, The University of Manchester
- Dr. Esther MacCallum-Stewart, lecturer at the University of Chichester & Vice President of the Digital Games Research
You can book tickets for Edinburgh Interactive NOW. Of course, Scottish developers get an EXTRA SPECIAL rate, which makes it cheaper.
If you’ve EVER dreamed of pitching a game to a panel of venture capitalists and industry experts, or like us, have fantasised about a companion cube in sussies, then you really do owe it to yourself to get out more.
* Dragons will not be real dragons. That would be atrociously dangerous.