Bafta and Minecraft workshops at Silicon Spa’s gaming festival

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Gamers will be descending on Leamington Spa in a matter of days for the first event of its kind in the town.

The inaugural ‘Interactive Futures’ Games Festival takes place from January 31 to February 2 at the Royal Spa Centre. It brings together the leading lights of the UK and international games industry to our own Silicon Spa for a three-day fest of games, culture and creativity.

The main conference on Thursday and Friday will provide a platform for the creative communities to showcase the latest developments and opportunities in this fast -growing sector. An important element of Interactive Futures is the opportunities for local independent studios and students to get their games or animations in front of the audience of professionals attending the festival, through competitions, or by submitting their portfolio for review by an industry expert.

Saturday is tailored to aspiring games creators, enthusiasts, students and families with sessions including ‘Let’s Make’ where you can explore virtual reality and create your own animation, a Raspberry Pi Minecraft workshop or the chance design your own video game character for a ‘Pixelheads Dash’.

Read more: Gamers can pitch their big ideas at indie tech event in Leamington

For those interested in starting a career, there are talks from leading games professionals including Ubisoft, Playground Games, Codemasters and Darbotron on the job roles available in the industry, or how to get your foot in the door at a AAA studio.

BAFTA will also be holding workshops for parents and teachers and young game designers at the Town Hall which are completely free to attend, but need to be booked in advance.

The Leader of Warwick District Council Councillor Andrew Mobbs said: “I’m extremely proud that we have brought this completely unique event to Leamington Spa. Interactive Futures, not only supports the current generation of talent in our district, but also offers unrivalled access to the best in the business for a whole new generation, who with the right skills could become the future industry leaders in our growing Silicon Spa.”

Silicon Spa is the name given to the cluster of tech industries formed around Coventry and Warwickshire which employ around 2,000 people. This is more than 10% of the UK games development industry.

The Leader of Warwickshire County Council, Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: “The County Council works very closely with schools and businesses to help to equip our young people with the skills they will need in the high tech economy.  With Silicon Spa growing, it is vital that we ensure that the businesses have the talent pipeline to enable them to continue to prosper in the county.

“Interactive Futures will showcase the industry to many young people and show them the career opportunities available to them in the county. “

Stacy O’Connor, Digital Skills Lead at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said the event is the ‘perfect opportunity to showcase the innovative and growing gaming companies which are based in Leamington Spa.’

“Interactive Futures will showcase the varied career opportunities available to young people across the region and will provide an economic boost to the area as we attract visitors from across the UK and build on our reputation as being a pioneer in this constantly evolving industry,” she said.

An Interactive Futures pass for Saturday February 2 is just £5, visit interactive-futures.com for tickets, session bookings and further information.