Ready to hit GAME>PLAY? Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 10.30 - 18.00 at Exeter Phoenix

The countdown is on, less than a month until Exeter’s inaugural one-day gaming festival opens its doors to the public hosted by Exeter Phoenix, the South West’s foremost multi-artform venue. Supported by Exeter City Council and curated by Tech Exeter CIC, the free event caters for retro, indie and Virtual Reality gaming fans and promises variation, immersive experiences and award-winning shows.

Everyone has their favourite consoles and games – prefer to break out the special moves in Street Fighter II over Streets of Rage? Rather hit the track with Mario Kart or Micro Machines? Sooner settle old scores with Goldeneye or Super Smash Bros.? Whatever your tastes, Joypad Arcade should have you covered! You can also get an exclusive play on Triangular Pixels’ newest indie VR games or, visit Acer UK’s Predator gaming van for the latest gaming hardware.

Maybe the classic 8-Bit Commodore 64 is more to your taste: Exeter-based RGCD are one of the few teams in the world developing, publishing and selling new games for the system. Probably best known for their official Commodore 64 cartridge releases such as LuftrauserZ, Super Bread Box, Micro Hexagon and C64anabalt, in total RGCD have launched over 30 games for the little 8-bit bread-bin (as well as other platforms). They will be showcasing some of their latest releases on real Commodore hardware, including upcoming releases for the Amiga in 2019.

Game developer Alistair Aitcheson is not only bringing two of his game installations along to GAME>PLAY, but ‘The Incredible Playable Show’ which has toured internationally and won the Jury Choice Award at IndieCade 2017.

It is an interactive video game comedy show where you, the audience, take to the stage! Become human buttons, take on the Power Rangers, zap each other with barcode scanners, and play Pac-Man using inflatable toys. Or sit back, and watch your friends literally become cogs in a hilarious machine!

In John Robertsons’ ‘The Dark Room’, the audience is trapped in a retro videogame with a sadistic end-of-level boss. Now either escape and win £1000 – or be brutally murdered by the rest of the crowd!

Will you: A) Find the Light Switch? B) Go North? C) Abandon Hope?

Filled with stand-up, appalling prizes and more audience chanting than you’d get at a protest – this is a gut-busting rock n’ roll experience for everyone who buys a ticket (which is recommended). There’s also a child-friendly(ish) version, which took home Best Kid’s Show at Leicester Comedy Festival 2018.

Tickets for the two shows are now on sale from just £3 each at

Along the same line, Scratchworks Theatre Company’s interactive workshop ‘Rebellion Playground’ is for anyone who wants to see change, big or small but doesn’t know where to begin. Come and play, bend the rules, be provoked and start a discussion.

The Playground will be inclusive for all, whether you would prefer to fully participate or to observe. The Scratchworks team are part game masters/ part revolution seekers, providing a series of provocations and tasks to the participants who have agency to accept, refuse or even revolt.

This workshop has limited availability and we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.

Come watch our glitched-out pong game self destruct the more it gets played! are inviting keen makers and developers to build their own controllers, switches and adapt ‘PONG Rewired’. Or challenge your friends to a game using our crazy controllers, but do you dare to press the big red button?

TechExeter CIC Director Kris Sum said: “We are excited to be partnering with some of the best gaming professionals and enthusiasts to bring this one-day gaming festival to Exeter. Being able to explore VR, retro and indie games in a fully immersive way is fantastic and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone in February. Without the generous help of Exeter Phoenix and the support from Exeter City Council, we would have not been able to organise such a high-quality event.”

GAME>PLAY will run on Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 10.30 – 18.00 at Exeter Phoenix. Shows and workshops are bookable in advance online at now.

Games, shows and workshops all promise a fun, interactive and certainly playful day at the Exeter Phoenix. For more information and to buy tickets, head over to for the full line-up and details on each activity. Follow @TechExeter on social media so you don’t miss a thing or add yourself to their newsletter.