Red Lion Square
London, England

Playful is a one-day event all about play – in all its manifestations, throughout the contemporary media landscape. The event aims to promote lively debate on the nature of play and games: what they mean to different people – both inside and outside the industry. Focusing on the creative and cultural dimensions, Playful examines game design as both a discipline and craft, offering different perspectives on its current and future possibilities.

Following on from Sense of Play and the event last year, Playful 09 is moving further afield to bring in experts and exponents from the cultural ‘mainstream’ to explore how to make the games medium more meaningful, to more people. Attracting a wider audience is now very much in the minds of many developers and publishers, and the knowledge that 65% of people who could engage with interactive entertainment choose not to. Despite bold efforts in the past few years by insiders and outsiders, cultural deficiencies are still there – or at least perceived to be there. So what can those of us who design games really learn from other parts of the creative arts? Conversely what does game design have to offer other areas of entertainment and culture?

Playful looks to chart the way forward, and on its way will visit not just the conventional console and PC game, but the myriad of interactive and play-based entertainment experiences which are increasingly becoming part of online, film, television, theatre, installation and performance arts.

The event will look for the interesting and the valuable from a range of areas outside the traditional creative industries including built environment, architects, authors, scientists, as well as the core networked and creative sectors we work with.

Speakers from last year

Roo Reynolds, BBC
James Wallis, Spaaace
Russell Davies, Interesting
Adrian & Dan Hon, Six To Start
Professor Tanya Kryzwinsca, Brunel University
David. G. Surman, University of Wales
Chris Delay, Introversion
Matthew Irvine Brown,
Alex Fleetwood, Sandpit
Eric Clough, 212 Box
Matt Biddulph, Dopplr
Iain Tait, Poke
Kieron Gillen, Writer
Jolyon Webb, Blitz Games Studios

There are discounts available on request (and a reasonable reason)

Playful: Game Design London is part of the London Games Fringe, a festival of alternative gaming events at the end of October 2009, organised by artists, academics, gamers, game developers, educators and creative professionals from a wide range of different media:

Ticket Info: £40
51.4669015503 -0.1974552572

Official Website:

Added by Tobybarnes on April 1, 2009



It's back! Hooray!

Joshua Kaufman

Can someone bring this to SF? :)


Yes we can.


Why not let those Americans cross the pond for a cool conference for once. ;-P


Just ordered my ticket, really looking forward to Playful!