GEEK stands for Game Expo East Kent and is a game festival which features retro gaming and many other fun activities like cosplay, knitting, workshops, card games, performances, panel discussions, tournaments and many more. It’s a festival of game and play held annually at Winter Gardens Margate, Kent, United Kingdom.
GEEK 2014 took place on 21-23 February 2014. It featured many arcade games, from Mario Bros to the revolutionary virtual gaming headset, GEEK 2014 had them all.
Third in the series, GEEK 2014 attracted almost 4000 game and play lovers from United Stated and Europe.
Meet, Make, Play is the GEEK slogan and inspires people to get together and interact, compete and define the best gamers in the championships. Meet, Make, Play, is bringing families and friends together from across the countries and continents to play, have fun and enjoy games from even 1970s to current times.
The ticket prices varied based the time spent and age. Therefore, one single day adult ticket price was £13, two days £24 and three days £36. For children ages 5-14 the ticket price was £7 for a day, £12 for two days, and for three days £18. For children under 5 years of age the participation at the event was free.
Major events at GEEK 2014
The event was, like in the previous two years, well received by the gamers from many places in Europe and US. With over 1000 games to pick from, on over 100 consoles, and almost 4000 participants, it was a very impressive and busy weekend, very crowded with people eager to play.
There were fabulous opportunities to try out old games people haven’t tried before. There were events where the participants had to wait for hours for the game that they wanted to play to become available. But there were also events where games were available for a limited time and participants wouldn’t have to wait for too long to play.
1. Online Games
Minecraft passionate gamers were able to compete in a championship. They had a special place destined just for them to play, called the “Minecraft Cave”. It was demanded by the audition, and in the two weeks prior to the event is was built for them.
The participants were able to play some demo games in various stages of development. The most popular game in this category was Timmy Bibble’s Friendship Club – Force of Habit, which won the People’s Choice Indie Award.
The retro games were hosted by Replay into tournaments and the most popular games were Halo, Street Fighter and Mario Kart. Winners of championships won prizes.
2. Offline Events
Social games like board games, cosplay where people were impersonating their favorite game characters, science experiments were also part of the GEEK. There was also a very informative and fun presentation about how games have developed over time, allowing people to learn about the changes throughout decades the games went through.
3. Supported game developers
There were 55 applicants for the Arts Council funding for game makers. The Arts Council funding went to four game maker teams: Seb Lee-Delisle who made Lazer Arcade, Bogdan Spanjevic who developed GEEK Hunt, Invisible Flock who made If you go away, and Pheebs&RWig with Tourist Trap. Each of the team worked and shared their games with all the people who came at the GEEK festival.
GEEK 2014 was a great opportunity for passionate gamers to discover and enjoy so many games, consoles and technology, together with the getting connected with the nostalgia of the games played in the old times.