All images: ByJono
Taking cues from international alternative games festivals, Playtopia MGA marks South Africa’s debut homegrown celebration of games and interactive art.
PLAYTOPIA and MAKE GAMES AFRICA (MGA) have joined forces to create one ecstatic 3-day event where attendees can revel in local and international indie games, eye-melting interactive and digital art and a killer music line up! There will be two conferencing streams available to delegates this year, the ‘MGA Business-to-Business’ conference and the ‘Playtopia Talks’ aimed at attendees interested in the creative side of game development.
Gamers, developers and event-goers will have a plethora of games, music, food and experiential art to enjoy. Playtopia MGA 2019 will host exhibitions by some of South Africa’s top interactive artists, 30+ alternative games, a Super Friendship Arcade room with games played on custom controllers as well as VR rooms.
Each week leading up to Playtopia MGA 2019 we’ll introduce and acquaint you with some of the phenomenally talented speakers, artists and musicians who will make up this year’s festival. This week we kick-off a game designer, scholar and entrepreneur, Mitu Khandaker from the USA, British installation artist, Robin Baumgarten and South African born, Berlin-based muso, Thor Rixon.
Mitu Khandaker [USA] | SPEAKER
Mitu Khandaker (NYU Game Centre) is a game designer, scholar, and entrepreneur. She holds a PhD in the aesthetics of interactivity in videogames, completed at the University of Portsmouth in 2015.
Mitu has been invited to speak at several major conferences and industry events, such as the Game Developers’ Conference, TEDxEastEnd, GamesWest, NineWorlds Conference, and the Royal Academy of Engineering in London. She was a keynote speaker at the 2014 BAFTA Cymru Awards and gave one of the keynotes for the 2015 Global Game Jam.
Creative consultant, immersive storyteller, art professor and an advocate for thoughtful & inclusive tech, games and artificial intelligence, Mitu is an assistant art professor and teaches game design, AI, XR and more at the NYU Game Center, part of Tisch School of the Arts. Mitu is also the CEO and co-founder of the recently announced studio, ‘Glow Up Games‘ and was previously on the founding team at ‘Spirit AI.’
Robin Baumgarten [GER] INSTALLATION ARTIST
The Wobble Garden is a hand-crafted arrangement of sensing springs combined with reactive lighting. Players wobble springs to interact with the installation and play games. It creates a unique visual and tactile experience and is scaleable to several meters large installations.
THOR RIXON [ SA] MUSICIAN
Enigmatic and industrious, Thor Rixon has taken South African electronic music and moulded it, revved it up and dressed it down. He has spent considerable time performing extensively, releasing countless singles, EPs & albums, collaborating with a range of diverse artists, and generally pushing the sonic envelope.
He brings energy and inventiveness to every floor or stage he graces. Each of Thor’s live performances are unique, incorporating improvisation and live instrumentation. Grass-fed live sets are characterised by spirited performances; Thor consistently delivers quality productions matched with masterful mixes. This multi-instrumentalist brings dynamic performance to every atmosphere.
After spending time in Berlin, honing his craft, Thor makes a short return to Cape Town for an epic performance – don’t miss it at Playtopia MGA 2019 and book your ticket today. Listen to music by Thor Rixon right here.
THE PLAYTOPIA MGA EXPERIENCE