Here are our festival highlights of a paradise of play this weekend. Game on!
Normally, the only way to get sent to jail in Trafalgar Square is by mounting Nelson’s column, but this weekend the ordinarily stately space is being used as a huge Monopoly board that visitors are invited to play with, in and on. Details are yet to be confirmed, but here’s hoping that Boris will be standing on the ‘Go’ square in his top hat, handing out wads of actual cash. The properties are due to pop up for Saturday and Sunday, but do check the London Games Festival website before putting on your scottie dog costume.
Now Play This
This three-dayer at Somerset House from April 1-3 is a treasure trove of innovative games, many of which have been designed for the festival and none of which you’ll have heard of. Use a tabletop board made of shadows; try Qubit, a sport invented especially for Somerset House’s famous courtyard that’s played with a quantum computer; and explore a human-scale badger sett. Day tickets are £8 – visit on Saturday for board games and massive battleships or Sunday for workshops on making your own rules and playing pieces.
London in Video Games
Feast your square eyes on a slice of London history at the Museum of London’s retrospective of classic video games. The museum has collected 18 London-themed games over the last year, allowing visitors to see the progression of virtual reality from text-based console games such as ‘Streets of London’ to cinematic simulations like ‘Sim City 3000’. Thanks to retro emulation computers, there’s also the chance to actually play some in true ’80s style, including the gruesome 8-bit platform adventure ‘Werewolves of London’.
Illustration: Craig Robinson