WordPlay Festival To Showcase Innovation in Video Game Storytelling

October 29, 2014 | Ab. Velasco

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WordPlay: A Festival of Writerly Games


On November 8th the Toronto Public Library and the Hand Eye Society will present WordPlay, a festival of writerly games. The event is to be held at Toronto Reference Library from Noon to 5pm and will be free to those in attendance.

Unlike the more traditional videogame events in Toronto, WordPlay will showcase the unique and innovative ways writing and literature are being applied to the art of videogames, and in doing so, provide a platform for game developers to share their writerly games .

This event will be an opportunity to discover games in a whole new light, and witness the limitless potential that the craft of writing has in this young and burgeoning medium.

 Some of the highlights from this year include:

  • If you can imagine a live theatre performance fused with a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style of narrative, than you might come close to understanding the experience that “Coffee: A Misunderstanding” has to offer. Coming all the way from Santa Cruz, creator Deirdra “Squinky” Kiai(Dominique Pamplemousse) will present this interactive play, and the audience members themselves will be the actors.
  • Boston’s Andrew Plotkin will also be present, talking about his just released iPhone text game Hadean Lands; an alchemical interplanetary thriller that was funded and made possible by his enormously successful kickstarter campaign.
  • Joining us as well will be Brent Ellison and Tanya X. Short. Based out of Montreal, these two developers will be coming down to talk about their cult narrative game Dungeons of Fayte. A game that was a big inspiration for games like Toronto’s The Yawhg.
  • For those who are keen to the hands-on learning, there will be tutorials for easy to use interactive fiction tools like Ren’py, and Inform. And if you just want to play some unusual and fun games, there will be a showcase of writerly games juried by Emily Short, Leigh Alexander, Paolo Pedercini, Duff McCourt, Liz Albi & Susan Patrick.

Whether you are playing the games on display, attending the presentations, or getting involved in the hands-on workshops, WordPlay will prove to be quite an enjoyable and educational experience for all attending.

It’s absolutely free. It’s videogames. What more can you ask for? Come out and play!