Between 1UP and Gameforce, there’s no lack of quality game expos on our slice of the planet. While those events are primarily aimed at a core gamer audience, the new indie festival One2Play (link in Dutch) approaches games from a different perspective.
Taking place in Leuven from May 10-12, the free festival will be a true celebration of the beauty of video games. The heart of the event is an exhibition of 24 games with distinguishable artistic merit, cultural value or social relevance. Carefully curated by Jeroen Janssen of Happy Volcano and Meet & Build organiser Julien Annart, the selection contains both indie game classics and deeper cuts. Right next to the central expo, a second room will be dedicated to intriguing game installations, arcade cabinets and other physical game activities.
You can do more than just discover and play cool games, though. Starting at 13.30 on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, there will be screenings of high quality game documentaries, giving both gamers and non-gamers a unique insight in the inner workings of the games industry. And before you go home on Saturday night, the alternative rock band Mount Venus will unleash their dreamy wall of sound to enforce the magical visuals of games like No Man’s Sky and Journey.
One2Play wants to drive home the point that there’s more to games than racing, shooting or football. The industry is home to a lot of talented individuals who create beautiful interactive experiences that are all too often missed by the greater public. The event hopes to transfer some of that game literacy to a wider audience, so if you’ve got any friends or family that don’t know the first thing about video games or can’t understand why you are into them, bring them along – it’s free! – and spread the word!
One2Play is made possible by STUK, Cultuurconnect, VAF/Gamefonds, City of Leuven and Cinema ZED.