Sam Sheffield’s ‘An encounter in the woods’ print
Games – including traditional board games – are back in fashion again! If you are not convinced, the two games festival and exhibition that took in London could change your mind.
‘Now play this‘ (7-9th April), part of London games festival, is an annual games festival at Somerset house showing work created by game designers and artists from London and across the world. There were around 40 games available, as well as discussions and various activities for all ages.
Top left: Joy is Here by Aïda Gómez; Top right: The Art of Ping Pong by Jono Sandilands; 2nd row left: Dead Pixels by Tatiana Vilela dos Santos and Olivier Drouet; 2nd row right: Morning Makeup Madness by Jenny Jiao Hsia; Bottom left: Kami 2 by State of Play; Bottom right: Sacramento by Delphine Fourneau (dziff)
At the other wing, ‘Game Changers: Another Way to Play‘ is a month-long exhibition (7th April – 7th May) examining how games and the possibilities for play are evolving. Events and installations showcase the latest in game design and technology, and revisit classic favourites.
I met Lee (who I later found out is a marathon winner and world-record holder) and he invited me to play a game of pool at the distorted pool table designed by Ed Saperia (who happened to be there while we were playing), and it turned out to be quite a challenge! And not surprisingly, I lost. But I have to say that it was the experience that mattered more than the score!
Top left & 2nd row: Home Turf by Ed Saperia, a distorted billiards table that combines the normal challenges of billiards with a deliberately difficult shape; 6th row & bottom row left: Nova Jiang’s Orthogonal/Diagonal is inspired by Asian chess games
The other exhibition ‘Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered‘ (until 23 April 2017) at the V & A Museum of Childhood focused more on traditional board games. This exhibition included some of the most iconic games like Monopoly and Cluedo, and historical board games like The Game of the Goose and other beautifully designed games from the 18th and 19th centuries.
It was wonderful to see how the designs and graphics of the board games have evolved over time. The appeal of games has never diminished, so it was incorrect to say that it is back in fashion because it has never gone out of fashion. Games can connect, entertain and teach us, and most importantly, it can lower our stress level, so it is time for us all to start playing (like children) again!