The Playtopia Indie Games and Playful Media Festival will be held at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town from 30 November-2 December 2018. The three-day indie games and playful media festival will showcase local and international independent computer games, interactive and digital art, talks, panels, workshops, and a music lineup.
Taking cues from international alternative games festivals, Playtopia marks South Africa's debut homegrown celebration of games and interactive art. Producing a series of surprise global hits, South Africa's game makers (and their unique creations) have landed on the international map, and Playtopia stands to celebrate the country's diverse game development community, and inspire the next generation of creators, gamers, and enthusiasts. Collecting the best of local art and games alongside international contemporaries, Playtopia promises to be one-of-a-kind African gaming celebration.
Bringing the indie game to SA
Free Lives creators of Broforce, Genital Jousting, and Gorn VR were inspired to start Playtopia as a platform to bring together the gaming and digital arts community to further education, enthusiasm, and interest in this growing industry. Largely inspired by A MAZE./Berlin, and its offshoot A MAZE./JHB,, the Free Lives team in collaboration with Make Games South Africa and Africa Games Week have drawn on the organisational and creative talents of Dominique Gawlowski, Limpho Moeti, Ben Rausch, and others to create Playtopia here in Cape Town as the first locally brewed festival to focus on indie game development and experimental media.
Evan Greenwood, owner and director of Free Lives, is a major supporter of creativity and believes an event like Playtopia can help attract, foster, and retain more local talent. South Africans have incredibly unique stories, perceptions, and shared history, giving our designers, tech developers, and creators very fresh and different perspectives for the world to experience.
Gaming is one of the biggest industries in the world - surpassing even the film and music industries. Games are no longer solely something for kids. The medium has evolved to become a form of entertainment and artistic expression that people of all ages can engage with and enjoy. The festival aims to create a platform for a more mature audience of gamers, creators, artists, and entertainment lovers to come together to learn, connect, and be inspired by the digital innovations being made.
What to expect
Gamers, developers, and event goers will have a plethora of games, music, food, and experiential art to enjoy. Exhibitions by some of South Africa’s top interactive artists, 30+ alternative, art and party games, a Super Friendship Arcade room with games played on custom controllers, VR rooms, and the international exhibition 'Digital Gardens' created by A MAZE./Berlin.
Play with Ralph Borland’s robots, engage with the sensory art of Miranda Moss, marvel at the projection art of global artist Inka Kendzia, and walk through the yarn art of embroidery artist Danielle Clough, along with various other artists showcasing custom designed playful objects.
Delegates have additional access to exclusive talks by local and international game developers and experts working in the industry, participation in workshops, and access to a private delegate and speaker bar.
The interactive art exhibition continues, along with a virtual reality room demonstrating the latest locally made VR games, and an exhibition room filled with both local and international curated indie game gems, celebrating everything from wild multiplayer party games to intimate artistic expressions.
Global champions of games and playful media, A MAZE. will bring their magic from Berlin to Cape Town. A MAZE. director Thorsten S. Wiedemann curates a unique experience called 'Digital Gardens'; a selection of games celebrating flora, fauna, beauty, and peace. The A MAZE. pop-up will also include a 'Green Thumb Panel' - a talk featuring an inspiring collection of international artists and experts from Europe's indie game underground.
A diverse collection of local and international artists, designers, thinkers and renegades, working in the vibrant world of games and play, fill the talks, panels and workshops programme. Exciting speakers to look forward to include Anita Sarkeesian (feminist icon, creator of US blog Feminist Frequency), Lauren Beukes (radical South African writer of novels, comics, and games), Cukia Kimani (co-creator of Semblance), Wilhelm Nylund (game designer and CEO of Sweden’s Landfall Games, creator of Totally Accurate Battlegrounds) and more.
While the local performance lineup includes Hello Beautiful, Julia Robert, Uppercut, and ANG.
R320 Weekend / R150 Friday
Pass / R180 Saturday
Pass / Sunday
Pass R120 / R820 Delegate (Limited)
Tickets available via Quicketwww.playtopia.co.za