The London games festival fringe is proud to announce Sense of Play 06, a one-day symposium that takes a long hard look at game design, and the role of the game designer. Looking beyond the current generation, the event aims to promote lively debate on the nature of game design and what it means to different people – both inside and outside the industry.

Sense of Play 06 is co-sponsored by the University College for the Creative Arts and features Patrick O’Luanaigh (nDreams, ex creative director Eidos/Sci), Charles Cecil (Revolution), and Rob Cooper (Interactive Drama & Entertainment, BBC) as well as range of games industry and academic experts.

Focusing on the creative and cultural dimensions, Sense of Play 06 explores the role of the game designer in an industry that many believe to be in something of a state of flux. Given that game designers are considered to be key to the medium’s creative future, how can we best equip emerging talent to square up to the considerable challenges they face as the industry evolves?

The symposium will be rounded off with a showcase of exciting new work from recent graduates of the MA Digital Games Design programme at UCCA Farnham,
joined by fellow postgraduates from other universities offering Masters level game design related courses.

Patrick O’Luanaigh will follow on from his Leipzig Games Convention talk with a look at how we can improve the quality of storytelling in games. According to Patrick, “Game design is a key area for the future of the industry. As graphics, audio, physics simulation and animation move closer to true realism, it’s game design which will increasingly set titles apart.

Sense of Play will be an exciting and important part of the games festival, as we’ll be exploring what it means to be a games designer, looking at where interactive storytelling is going, and how the industry is trying new ways to create deeper levels of emotion and immersion.”

Charles Cecil of Revolution Software, recently honoured as a ‘Development Legend’ by industry magazine Develop, tempers the celebration of future possibilities with a level-headed investigation of what’s holding things back, exploring the so called ‘content crisis’ within the games development and publishing communities and suggesting how game designers are vital in securing the industry’s creative and cultural sustainability.

Rob Cooper broadens the debate by looking at various projects within and beyond the broadcast communities, destined to bring interactivity and gameplay to areas which have previously been the bastion of traditional, ‘delivered’ dramatic form. BBC’s Head of Interactive Drama & Entertainment Sophie Walpole comments “The BBC is constantly pushing the boundaries of interactive storytelling and narrative, looking for new ways to tell stories, to surprise and entertain our audiences on new platforms. Sense of Play is an exciting new date in the calendar which we look forward to participating in.”

Sense of Play takes place on Friday 6th October 2006

Symposium 9.30am – 5.30pm at Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE

Showcase 6.00pm – 9.00pm at 01zero-one, Hopkins Street, London W1F 0HS

Entry is free but places limited. Register online at (or email with full contact details)

All information:
Contact: Toby Barnes, or Jon Weinbren via