Mark Shaw previews GameCity3 May 2012
Nottingham has a thriving creative industry, as evidenced by GameCity, one of the biggest festivals for the gaming industry taking place right here for the seventh consecutive year in October.
The launch party is taking place tomorrow, and you're invited to come along and discover what this year's event has in-store for you and the other 45,000 visitors.
GameCity is one of the the world's best loved videogame festivals, and it brings together developers, publishers, students and the public to explore and celebrate videogames and the videogaming culture. This is a lot more mainstream than you might imagine, and adds up to big business.
It was originally created by Nottingham Trent University, and attracts the best gaming industry speakers in the world, as well as giving a platform to up-and-coming artists and creating totally unique public events. The festival takes place in bars, schools, restaurants, cinemas, churches and shops around the Market Square, and will feature 60 headline events.
Not content with pioneering the celebration and exploration of videogame culture with one of the UK's biggest annual gaming events, in 2012 GameCity will turn its hand to educating and inspiring a nation with the GameCity STEAM School, forming a central part of this year's festival, from October 20-27.
Within an expanded festival, spanning all seven days of half-term week, the GameCity STEAM School will focus on inspiring and teaching people about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths.
It will also break down barriers to promote digital literacy and inclusion, and help to overcome related issues including age, gender, education and ability.
Iain Simons, GameCity director and founder, said: "The GameCity STEAM School takes its cue from the STEAM development work being driven by the Livingstone-Hope review, but aims to provide a broader cultural context too.
"This school isn't just for smart young computer kids - it's for families, parents, senior citizens - everyone. We're making this not just for people who want to learn how to make games, but for people who want to learn what they are and why they're important."
Following the recent developments to the National Curriculum with the addition of computer science, spearheaded by the lobbying efforts of industry representative body UKIE, the GameCity STEAM School will be launched by videogame evangelist, Ian Livingstone, who will also guest as a head teacher during the festival week.
The GameCity STEAM School will feature prominent names in the games industry and the week will be broken up into a full school timetable, from art to history, to science to music, with developers around the world able to teach masterclasses in their given field.
Ian Livingstone , Eidos life president, told me: "Having followed the development of GameCity from its humble beginnings, I'm delighted to be able to launch the 2012 GameCity festival. NTU are unique in translating the videogame industry to the broader public in radical new ways and have developed a true beacon of public engagement."
The GameCity Launch event will take place on May 2 in The Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, NG1 4BU, from 3pm. For more details, or to discuss teaching opportunities, including leading a class at the GameCity STEAM School, contact Chris White at firstname.lastname@example.org.