Sheffield dove into video games last weekend (28th/29th June) with the arrival of Games Britannia Live, the public extension of the multi-award winning videogame education festival. The Millennium Galleries played host to stalls exhibiting everything game – from retro consoles to play on to brand new board games and video games in development.
Visitors were treated to the chance to sit and play original Tetris, learn a card game, and tell a 3D printer what to do! In a stroke of genius Printcraft connected a 3D printer to a Minecraft server and allowed awed kids to build on screen and print their creations with glow in the dark ink. Wonderful.
This year was the first that the Festival included an art exhibition inspired by video games and, naturally, we were excited to see that. The Far Lands Exhibition collected work from 11 artists working in various mediums from oil paints to an iPad, all inspired by games along the theme of landscapes seeking to critically address the way we build or inhabit spaces. It was an incredibly impressive debut; we caught up with Rob Barker, one of the exhibition organisers, to find out how it all went.
“It’s been great. We’ve spent the whole weekend talking about videogames and art, which are our two favourite things, introducing the likes of Jason Rouse’s live DayZ oil landscapes, Jason McKee’s noclip Half-Life-influenced Ore Bridge and Benjamin Poynter’s cyberpunk card game to everyone from Minecraft-obsessed eight year olds to granddads!
Games Britannia Live’s setting of Millennium Galleries was just waiting for an exhibition of videogame-influenced art. Between the three of us at Third Person View, a fantastic selection of submissions and two honorary team members in artists David Cotton and Ben Davies – plus huge support from GB Live and The University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture amongst others – we’ve been thrilled at the response from audiences to the work.”
Words: Sara Hill
Images: Games Britannia Live, Third Person View and Sara Hill.