A look at Playtopia MGA 2019
Over the past weekend, a part of Cape Town’s Castle of Good Hope was transformed into an alternative gaming and arts festival. Passionate gamers, and art and music lovers had the opportunity to attend this interactive event over three days to take part in talks, try out local and international games, view exhibitions and dance the night away.
The 340-year-old venue created a fantasy atmosphere and the perfect backdrop for Playtopia MGA 2019 with its stone walls, narrow stairs, low ceilings and dark spaces. This year, Playtopia and Make Game Africa (MGA) have joined forces to bring attendees an interactive and digital wonderland of an event – and what a success!
Playtopia MGA is an intimate festival where attendees are encouraged to take part in a range of activities, including two games arcades, an interactive art exhibition called ‘The Dungeons’ and a killer music lineup. This year, the games on offer exceeded expectations. From VR adventures to old-school consoles, the arcades offered something for everyone. Newer favourites included Guitar Wizards, Sticky Cats and the popular Boet Fighter.
The Dungeons was another gem at Playtopia this year. Here, you could walk through the castle’s old hallways and enter different rooms to view incredible immersive art displays. The installations were all unique in their own way, but they all showcased what can be done with technology. Installations that stood out were: The Lost Botanist, a VR collaboration like no other that allows you to enter a fantasy world of exotic plants and creatures; Robin Baumgarten’s Giant Wobble Garden; and the Method Lab’s mind-blowing face editing experience.
Playtopia MGA 2019 also offered two conferencing streams to delegates this year: The MGA Business To Business Conference and the Playtopia Talks. This programme was aimed at delegates interested in the creative side of game development.
Looking at what was on offer, Playtopia MGA 2019 was a huge success, although, a few tweaks will scale it to perfection. I look forward to seeing what they will bring South African fans next year!