GEEK: Meet, Make, Play
The UK’s original pleasure park, Dreamland Margate, will be welcoming GEEK in 2017. A three-day festival of play and gaming, GEEK will entertain the whole family during half term from the 17th to 19th of February.
For five years GEEK has been bringing people together to meet, make, and play. The event focuses on multiplayer interactive games and encourages visitors to participate in all genres of gaming; including board games, computer games, retro and next generation, card games and real world games. GEEK will be situated throughout the Dreamland site, including in the iconic and newly refurbished Hall By The Sea, the Roller Room, Ballroom and the arcade area. Guests will discover all the creative magic that goes into the games; there will be coding, storytelling, music composition, translation and localisation, and much more. GEEK will be lifting the lid on the games industry.
As 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Nintendo’s Mario Kart, the festival will be celebrating with an official tournament. Guests will be able to sit in real Dreamland bumper cars as they play their way through every incarnation of the game, from the Super Nintendo to the Wii U, and compete in a tournament to be in with a chance of winning a Nintendo Switch, the latest console from Nintendo as well as other official prizes.
GEEK will also be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Judge Dread’s 2000AD comic book world, with artist Rufus Dayglo hosting an exclusive exhibition of covers and artwork – some of which have never been shown before. Guests will also get the chance to play the award winning game Renga, a live 250-player laser game. They can also try out Seb Lee-Delisle’s NES Hacked Laser Arcade. Alongside the team-based events, those brave enough can also sign up for the Ironman GEEK. This competition will require guests to master both digital and analogue skills in order to see off the other players and be crowned the Iron GEEK.
The festival is also the proud host an exciting variety of talks, discussions and workshops led by industry professionals, all geared up to open the door to the games industry. New to 2017 is the introduction of the Demystify Bar, an area of GEEK that offers visitors a portal into some creative areas of gameplay that in the past may have seemed inaccessible.
The GEEK compendium of games will also include new board games, Live Action Role Play and the Indie Zone – where guests can meet the makers and tell them what they think would make their games better. The famous Minecraft cave is also back, along with a virtual reality treadmill, coding workshops and much more. Guests will be able to test their skills on hundreds of playable video games on hundreds of consoles; tracing the development of games from the 1970s to the latest next generation and VR releases. ESports and Games Tournaments will take place over the full three days of the festival, accompanied by commentary from Sky Sports’ Matt Andrews.
Friday 17th February will open the door into the world of apps. Anyone who needs an app, wonders what an app is, or even wants to make one of their own is invited to drop in and get answers from the next generation of creative innovators.
On Saturday 18th February, GEEK will be showcasing Games Workshop’s Warhammer. For over 30 years, Warhammer has been creating chaos in kitchens across the country. Now, thanks to the founder of Hobby Hammer, Sean Houghton, some of that chaos is coming to GEEK. Saturday will also see a spectacular cosplay masquerade.
Finally, on Sunday 19th February the Demystify Bar will host a Raspberry Pi Jam. A credit card-sized computer, the Raspberry Pi can be used in electronics projects and for many of the things that a desktop PC does. Guests will learn how to build and program one for themselves.
Every element of GEEK is saturated in play, and for this reason 2017 sees the introduction of the GEEK House Cup. Guests will each be assigned a house and will work collectively in order for their team to be crowned champions of the festival. There’s also the Iron GEEK tournament, consisting of a fiendishly difficult array of games that will test visitors skills across multiple platforms and genres of gaming.
And let’s not forget the GEEKlings. Not only do children under 5 get in for free, there will also be plenty of activities to keep them occupied whilst older brothers or sisters enjoy pulling apart computers, playing in the virtual realm or creating their own comic strips. On the final day of the festival, ticket holders with under-8s can visit Dreamland’s soft play area, The Octopus’ Garden! With storytelling workshops, the chance to create your own game show or board game and encounters with a dinosaur pet, there’s plenty happening to keep little hands and minds busy. Bringing friends and families together to make and play games that they love, Dreamland will be packed with gaming entertainment for all.
Dreamland is a located in the seaside town of Margate in Kent. For many generations this multifaceted venue, and the UK’s original pleasure park, has thrilled and delighted its visitors. Following its reopening in 2015, it is renowned as a haven for fun seekers and lovers of vintage and retro.