While we were distracted playing Angry Birds and Words with Friends, gaming became cool, and there is no clearer manifestation of that than how interesting and awesome this year's Freeplay program looks.
Freeplay is Australia’s longest-running independent gaming festival, running from September 25 to September 29 this year. The festival warms up with the Playful Program, which kicks off on Wednesday night with Pop-Up Playground’s latest offering ‘Wikisneaks’. Like Cluedo, except with real people and state secrets.
The Freeplay Conference Program runs over the weekend at the State Library of Victoria, with keynote addresses from developers Erin Robinson and Steve Swink. The conference looks at all sorts of gaming, with talks, panels and workshops inspired by the theme ‘Volume of Revolution’.
There are sessions on physicality, gaming and education, power, the relationship between stories, games and activism, and a brave talk from three developers on failure. Finalist games for the Freeplay Awards will also be playable at the Experimedia exhibition over the conference weekend.
There are a bunch of different ways to buy tickets — you can go along for the Playful Program bits, or buy tickets to the conference days separately.