Videogaming is high on the agenda at the National Science and Media Museum, as the first details of this year’s Yorkshire Games Festival line-up are revealed—with Bradford College as headline sponsor—and a unique piece of games history is acquired.
This autumn, the Yorkshire Games Festival, which takes place at the National Science and Media Museum from 8–12 November 2017, will be welcoming Bradford’s own Mohammed Ikram (known as Iki in the industry) as a headline guest. Iki studied at Bradford College before going on to become one of the industry’s top visual effects (VFX) artists at Naughty Dog—the studio responsible for highly acclaimed games such as Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us. He will be back in his hometown to deliver a keynote speech, discussing growing up in Bradford and becoming one of the most sought-after artists in the games industry.
Also joining the line-up are indie developers Oli De-Vine and Phil Duncan of Ghost Town Games. Oli and Phil spent five years at Frontier Games before striking out on their own with their debut GTG title Overcooked. It was a roasting success, taking home BAFTAs for Best Family Game and Best British Game in 2017. The pair will be discussing what it was like to forge their own way designing award-winning games from their lounge. In their own words, success means they ‘have since upgraded to the spare room’.
WiFi Wars, a live comedy game show where the whole audience gets to play along, will be another key attraction at the festival. It is hosted by comedian and videogame pundit Steve McNeil, presenter of Challenge TV’s Videogame Nation and a team captain on Dara Ó Briain’s Go 8 Bit. WiFi Wars connects everyone in the audience via their smartphone or tablet to compete in a range of games, quizzes and challenges for prizes. Tickets are available online now.
And the Yorkshire Games Festival is delighted to announce today that Bradford College is confirmed as the Headline Sponsor, following the successful partnership forged for last year’s inaugural event.
Festival director Kathryn Penny said: “We were delighted with the first Yorkshire Games Festival which welcomed John Romero along with many other guests and gaming activities. To have Bradford College back as our main sponsor is fantastic news and means we can build on last year’s success to make 2017 even better. We’re incredibly excited to announce these first details of what’s promising to be a great line-up for this year’s event.”
Richard Thomas, Provost of Bradford College, said: “Bradford College is immensely proud to be Headline Sponsor of the Yorkshire Games Festival for two years running. The Yorkshire Games Festival will feature many professionals from the industry, including our own alumnus Iki Ikram who will be flying over from California to take part.
“Games are a significant industry for the region and Bradford College is proud to be producing students with the high level skills necessary to fuel that area of the economy through our specialised courses. The festival is a wonderful opportunity for our students and staff to engage with key figures from the industry.”
In other games news, the National Science and Media Museum has acquired the studio equipment used by the internet super channel The Yogscast at its first permanent home, ‘YogTowers’ in Bond Street, Bristol. It has been used by some of the channel’s best loved broadcasters, including co-founders Lewis and Simon, plus Sips, Duncan, Sjin and Hannah. It’s also seen guest stars such as Bill Bailey, Jonathan Ross and Warwick Davis, and was in use when the original Yogscast YouTube channel, BlueXephos (now known as Yogscast Lewis & Simon), was the first to reach 1bn views in the UK and was the world’s second most-watched channel on the platform.
Elinor Groom, Curator of TV and Broadcast Culture at the National Science and Media Museum, said: “We are thrilled to have acquired this amazing piece of gaming history. It will play a key part in telling the story of how the landscape of broadcasting and broadcast technology has changed over the years, forming part of our next major development—our Sound and Vision Galleries.”
Mark ‘Turps’ Turpin, Yogscast CEO, said: “It’s fantastic and humbling to know that such a large piece of Yogscast history will be preserved to tell the story of the birth of a whole new industry. We’ve been fortunate to reach over seven billion views across our content and to be a part of media being consumed by new audiences in new ways.”
The Yorkshire Games Festival is produced by the National Science and Media Museum in partnership with the games business network Game Republic.