Now Play This - Ben Peter Catchpole
06 – 08 April 2018

Now Play This 2018

06 – 08 April 2018
£8.00 / £6.50 concessions
Unlimited Pass £35.00

Fri 06 Apr: 12.00-21.00 (last entry 20.00)

Sat 07 Apr: 10.00-20.00 (last entry 19.00)

Sun 08 Apr: 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.00)

Free entry for Courtauld Friends

New Wing
Somerset House

The three-day games festival returns as part of the city-wide London Games Festival, with a host of hands-on activities for all ages. This year, Now Play This explores international game design, from the 1990s to the present day.

From digital to analogue games, ones to play alone or with others, players will experience an array of dozens of games across multiple spaces – many of which premiere at the festival this year. This year’s focus is on the idea of place, demonstrating how games and play help us understand the world around us in new ways. Festival goers will explore different countries and cultures, and critical issues specific to these places ranging from international borders to identity.

Now Play This 2017

A diverse and fascinating selection of experimental games.

The Guardian


Game highlights include the premiere of The Loss Levels, by BAFTA-winning artist and creative technologist Dan Hett. The game draws on Hett’s experiences after his brother Martyn was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing last May.

After the success of her game Operation Brexit at last year’s Now Play This Yara El-Sherbini returns to premiere Roadmap to Peace, a Scalextric track depicting two roads in Israel and Palestine that run parallel and intersect.

Get involved in creating a Flatgame all about Now Play This; hand draw your own designs, which will become digitised and incorporated into this special game over the course of the weekend. Other Flatgames will feature, including Overground by Rosa Carbo-Mascarell, one of the creators of CorbynRun, based on her daily two-hour commute from East to West London.

Overground (c) Rosa Carbo-Mascarell
Overground - Rosa Carbo-Mascarell

Embark on a journey in the style of a traditional text adventure with Kevan Davis’s Wikipedia: The Text Adventure which draws live data from Wikipedia and is about exploring unexpected corners of the city.

A seemingly traditional console game, Videogamo's Dobotone is a multiplayer game where the fifth player takes on the role of ‘Game Remixer’, moving a control box of switches and dials which alter the rules of play in real time.

Now Play This 2017
Now Play This 2017
Dobotone by Videogamo
Dobotone by Videogamo

Unpacking some of the specifics of game design v r 3, created by Pippin Bar, is a museum of digital water designs, available for games designers to buy and use in their own games. Each type is exhibited, with its creator, date and price, inviting players to ponder the innumerable tiny choices that make up a finished game.

You’ll also find games to play outdoors (weather permitting), including Sabrina Shirazi’s Musical Trip where players roll suitcases over textured paths on the River Terrace of Somerset House. Also in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court a new work by David Helbich will take players on a musical journey. Select a card and instruct players to listen from a particular point or even join in using instruments and objects around the space!


This year the unlimited pass includes unlimited festival access across the entire duration, in addition to special access to The Makers’ Corner, a space with extra games and that delves even deeper into the process of making games through a programme of more in-depth workshops, a library of ‘zines’ and books and additional activities such as building custom controllers, trying out prototype board games, and even designing an escape room.

Visitor information

Your ticket allows you up to three hours (two hours for the final session of the day) within Now Play This. To ensure you can take full advantage of the exhibits we advise that you arrive at the beginning of your timed session. You will be encouraged to leave at the end of your allocated time to allow space for the next sessions visitors.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the day, subject to availability.

Please note, whilst the majority of the exhibits are accessible to all a small number may not be suitable for children. These exhibits will be clearly signposted.