London Games Festival 2008: What's happened, and what's still to come

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mario.jpgIf you’re a gamer in the UK, you might be aware that it’s currently the London Games Festival, a celebration of all aspects of video games and gaming. It’s been going on since last Friday, and it continues until Nov 7th. Here’s a brief roundup of what’s been going on, and what’s planned for the next few weeks:

The festival kicked off on Friday with a couple of performances of Video Games Live at the Royal Festival Hall. Video Games Live has been around for a few years – it’s a set of orchestral performances of music from video games. Attendees were treated to music from World of Warcraft, Castlevania, God of War, Metal Gear Solid and Zelda, as well as an incredible blindfoldedperformance by this bloke.

london-cosplay-attempt.jpgOn Saturday, two world records were attempted. The first was for the largest gathering of cosplayers – people who dress up as videogame characters. Last year, a record was set at 88, but since then the Germans have overtaken us with a record of 337. Triumphantly, however, we retook the crown on Saturday with 342 people dressed up as videogame characters, including the chap pictured above and the ladies to the left. Tonnes more pictures can be found here.

A record attempt followed for the most amount of people playing DS in one place. The current record is held by Australians, 381 of em. Sadly, this didn’t go as well, and only 135 or so attended (if you know the exact number, please let us know in the comments!) but much fun was had by all, playing 8-player games of Bomberman and Mario Kart. The attempt was co-ordinated by DS:London, a group of people who meet up regularly in London Pubs to play DS.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, the Eurogamer Expo will be taking over the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. They’ll be showing off some of the newest games, including Mirror’s Edge, LittleBigPlanet and Tomb Raider: Underworld. I’ll be popping down to see whether any of them are any good – look at the list here and let me know if there are any in particular that you’d like me to check out. Or come down yourself, of course.

On Thursday night, the ridiculously talented Jonathan Coulton will be playing at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. He’s the man behind the epic “Still Alive” from Portal. He’ll be sharing his geeky folk rock with Britain.

On Friday and Saturday, “Be the One” hits Trafalgar Square, promising new games from EA. Go along with your DRM protest banners, then. It’s also going to feature a massive construction built over the square, so be prepared to queue to get in and out. They’ll be premiering Red Alert 3, amongst other titles.

The same night, the Golden Joystick awards will be taking place at the Hilton on Park Lane. These gaming awards are in their 26th year of running, and celebrate the brightest and best of the gaming world. My money’s on GTA IV, Rock Band, Halo 3, Bioshock, and Spore.

Phew. That’s just a few of the things that are on – specifically the things I’m hoping to make it down to. There’s absolutely tonnes more – the full listing is here. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a fringe festival going on at the same time. Details of that can be found here.

If you’re going to any of the events, or you’ve been to any so far, then let us know in the comments below. Admit it… you were the one in the “Toad” costume, weren’t you?

London Games Festival

Related posts: London Games Festival coming in October | Gaming as Art: The Unfinished Swan

Duncan Geere

6 comments

  • If, like most of the country, you don’t live in London, there’s loads of other Gaming festivals going on over the next month.

    Check out game city in Nottingham if you’re in the Midlands – record for most COS players? How lame do you want to be ? We’re going for the Zombie world record…much cooler, and in tune with the season 😛

    Obviously its smaller than LGF – but of course, its not in London so its no where near as important 🙂

    http://www.gamecity.org

    • Sounds awesome – when is it? Much as I’d love to know exactly when all this stuff is going on, I don’t, so have to rely on PR agencies telling me (as in the case of London Games Festival) or commenters telling me about things (as in this case).

      If there’s something awesome going on in your town, then don’t ever hesitate to leave us a comment or drop me an email at duncanDELETE@THISshinymedia.com. We’re not London-focused, but we are based here.

  • Looks pretty eccentric!

    I would love to check it out, but I don’t think I could make it down to london. Would be cool to see what people turn up in!

  • It was 133 people, if you recall.

    It was great, just a shame the DS isn’t designed for that quantity of people using download play – it led to a lot of connections failed, as well as lag issues when someone on the other side of the room tried to join your local circle.

    Good though. I’d be up for something like that again – still gutted I didn’t get a chance to compete for the Bomberman prize though. Darn download play…

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