Sharks, cocktails and video games

It’s not every day you find yourself sipping on a coffee martini, while a small shark swims towards Richard Wilson’s head, but that’s just how the first ever Extended Play games festival begins, as the CEO of TIGA - UK’s biggest representative body for the video game industry - speaks out about the value of government tax breaks for the games industry at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.

A pertinent start to a weekend of talks (with a particularly entertaining whirlwind of a keynote from Ian Livingston OBE), Game Jams, industry Boot Camp and more cocktails from Loading, whose founder James has created a different drink for each game studio participating in the Boot Camp, like a Remodito for Remode and the delicious Mobile Apple Pie for Bristol’s app magicians Mobile Pie.

A short blog will never do justice to the in-depth industry insights, the nimbleness of the 36-hour Game Jam (though you can have a go at playing the winning game here) or the feel good atmosphere that even the sharks seemed to appreciate, so here’s a few instagrams to give you an idea instead…

An approach to the National Marine Aquarium with ExPlay flags.

Richard Wilson’s opening keynote (shark top right).

Live digital sketching during Boot Camp.

Ian Livingstone’s ‘Life Is A Game’ visual history of the games industry.

Mint Mag guys playing Cannonball on the Winnitron machine.

Julian from Wired enjoying a Mobile Apple Pie.

Playing with haptic feedback: the sky gliding game part of student showcase.

Anticipation during Game Jam showcase.

Souvenir bands.

More photos at

Find out more about Extended Play at

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