Geeking it up at Geek Play 2018!
On a cold blustery Friday we brave the crisp winds of Margate’s beach front and we find ourselves traversing into towards the legendary Dreamland Amusement park for yet another year of celebrating gaming and geek culture with Geek Play 2018! With a wealth of entertainment promised including digital and analogue games, tournaments, talks and cosplay, workshops and so much more the fest has returned to Margate with a vengeance. But does it live up to the hype?
In a word – absolutely. Heading past the digitally decorated entrance to Dreamland you’re hit with a wealth of gaming gold from the start. Playstation VR demonstration are wowing the crowds, whilst there’s extensive geek and niche merchandise for the hordes of gaming fans entering through the doors. Not to mention lines of classic pinball games, it’s astonishing!
Our first stop is in Zone 1 – the Geek Lab. Inside a range of workshops are taking place. It’s a busy weekend with tutorials on creating your own gaming zombie right through to cosplay tips and tricks. Not to mention discussions on creating visuals and games for indie developers. It’s a great place to get to grips with the fundamentals of building games from the ground up and it’s great to see such a range of learning activities on offer.
Next up we head into Zone 2 -The PreFlight Hangar- where younger audiences test their skills crafting their own space helmet and controlling a sphero robot through custom built mazes. These have been thoughtfully put together and it’s great to see hoardes of gamers trying their luck navigating the route.
As we head out of Zone 2 we hit Dreamland’s large central arcade area and move into Zone 3 (The Indie Zone) where indie developers discuss and show off their games. Also allowing gamers to try out some unique and really interesting games. It’s really great to be able to check out these cutting edge games first hand and talk over the ins and outs of the development process. It’s a scene which is steadily growing in the UK with grassroots developers and something which has evidently struck a chord with many of the visitors.
Departing Zone 3 we hit Zone 4 – The ‘Reality Zone’. Offering something complete different this insane part of Geek offers ‘Actual Reality’ a great twist on Virtual Reality where gamers can play real life versions of Asteroids and other classic coin ops, but in real life! We loved the attention to detail to these conversions. In particular Asteroids were the crowds are queueing up to test their luck blasting nerf missiles at hanging space rock!
Having a breather outside in Zone 5 – we also grab a chance to check out the sheer scope of Dreamland. The amusement arcade has long been a staple of beachside holidays in the south east, which sadly was left to ruin for years. But now after a multi million pound refurbishment it’s back on the map and the rides and scale of the building work has been astounding.
Lastly we check out upstairs Zone 6- The Geek Arena. This is surely the spectacle of Geek. A huge gaming hall filled with a mix of some of the most classic and most up to date games from history. Everything from early spectrums, to Amigas right through to Xbox Ones and Playstation 4’s are on display and available to play. We also loved the interactive projected gaming tournaments taking place – alongside the lightsaber arena where a host of young Jedi’s go head to head.
All in all it’s an incredible amount of entertainment within one day, and with two further days of gaming and geek culture it’s absolute value for money. Make sure you grab your tickets for Geek 2019, it’s a must.
Follow all of Dreamland’s entertainment at https://www.dreamland.co.uk/