Freeplay Games Festival Awards

This weekend the Freeplay independent games festival kicks off with programmers, gamers and artists converging on the State Library.

As well as talks and workshops from local and international games developers, this year’s festival includes awards for games creation including one devoted specifically to games writing. Festival co-director Paul Callaghan sees it as a recognition of writing in games. “Writing is one of the often overlooked aspects of games development though we see it as a discipline on the same level as programming, art and design,” says Callaghan.

The award has attracted some interesting nominees. Alex Bruce wrote the curious Hazard, which works in the first person perspective popular in shoot-em-ups but, according to the games' trailer, “it’s an exploration of knowledge not of space”. For Jarrad Woods, better known by the handle Farbs, games are all about comedy as seen in his nominated game Captain Forever and the ROM Check Fail Factory. Rounding out the nominees is Steve Bull from Perth-based PVI Collective, who were commissioned by Sydney Biennale to create transumer, a game that uses mobile phones to make real-life players “consume the city as a ‘constantly moving happiness machine’”. Definitely not for couch potatoes.

Freeplay concludes with an announcement of all their awards on Sunday 15th of August.

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