Home Entertainment Gaming Playtopia: An Indie Games and Playful Media Festival in Cape Town

Playtopia: An Indie Games and Playful Media Festival in Cape Town


Attention Gamers! Playtopia is happening in Cape Town from the 30th of November to the 2nd of December. This indie games and playful media festival will showcase local and international independent computer games, interactive and digital art, talks, panels and workshops. There will also be an awesome music line-up.

Playtopia marks SA’s debut homegrown celebration of games and interactive art. Producing a series of surprise global hits, SA’s game makers (and their unique creations) have landed up on the international map. This upcoming event will celebrate the country’s diverse game development community and inspire the next generation of creators, gamers and enthusiasts.

More info about Playtopia

The event promises to be one of a kind African gaming celebration because it will be collecting the best of local art and games alongside international contemporaries. Playtopia will take place in the oldest building in South Africa, The Castle of Good Hope (in Cape Town). This collision of past and future will add energy and creativity to the festival’s setting.

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Free Lives (the organizers of the event) were inspired to start Playtopia as a platform to bring together the gaming and digital arts community. Their aim is 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 has drawn on the organizational and creative talents of Dominique Gawlowski, Limpho Moeti, Ben Rausch and others. The result is the first locally brewed festival to focus on indie game development and experimental media. The Free Lives team are collaborating with Make Games South Africa and Africa Games Week.

The organisers are also honoured to host their inspiration, A MAZE./Berlin. They will be showcasing their ‘Digital Gardens’ exhibition (which is curated by A MAZE. director Thorsten S. Wiedemann). The generous support of MWeb, Devolver Digital Publishers, Friends of Design, SOZO Labs and AVA have helped make Playtopia possible.

Why is Playtopia happening?

Evan Greenwood (owner and Director of Free Lives) is a major supporter of creativity and believes an event like this can help to attract, foster and retain more local talent. South Africans have incredibly unique stories, perceptions and shared history. 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 something for kids. Games have evolved become a form of entertainment and artistic expression that people of all ages can engage with and enjoy.

Playtopia aims to create a platform for a more mature audience of gamers, creators, art and entertainment lovers to come together to learn, connect and be inspired by the digital innovations being made.

What can you expect at Playtopia?

There will be tons of games, music, food and experiential art to enjoy and exhibitions by some of SA’s top interactive artists. There will also be 30+ alternative, art and party games, a Super Friendship Arcade room with games played on custom controllers, VR rooms and ‘Digital Gardens’ exhibition I mentioned earlier.

Delegates (who are willing to pay R820 for a limited ticket) have additional access to exclusive talks. There will be local and international game developers and experts working in the industry. They can also participate in workshops and will have access to a private Delegate and Speaker bar.

What else do I need to know about Playtopia?

Weekend tickets will set you back R320, a Friday pass will set you back R150 or a Saturday pass will set you back R180. A Sunday pass will set you back R120. Take note that the R820 Delegate tickets are limited. Tickets are available at this link. For more info, check out the event page on Facebook or visit the event’s official website.

I have to admit that I’m not a massive gamer, but this is definitely something that my inner geek could be interested in. I played hours of World of Warcraft a few years ago. Does that make me a gamer? Maybe I should embrace it? I’m sure that there are probably going to be a ton of you who do.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Gaming category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


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