PlayStations to Hopscotch: Hide and Seek Weekender thrills Southbank Centre

By Ben Miller | 14 September 2012
A photo of a woman playing a game and laughing in a park within an urban setting
Hide&Seek returns after a year out© Courtesy Hide&Seek
Festival Preview: Hide&Seek Weekender, Southbank Centre, London, until September 17 2012

"When it comes to party games, we're a long way past Charades and Spin the Bottle,” reckons Alex Fleetwood, the director of this giddy whirl of grown-up fun rampaging through the Southbank Centre this weekend.

“All the creativity and imagination that has poured into indie games over the last ten years has started to spill out into nightclubs and bars, and this party is the best place to check it out.

“We've got games that get you moving, games that get you talking, and a lot of games that get you laughing, plus an amazing venue, brilliant music and great performances.”

A screenshot from a Space Invaders-style arcade game where aliens try not to get shot
Killer Queen Arcade is a video game for two players led by a powerful Queen© Courtesy Hide&Seek
Fleetwood says the party he’s talking about, down in the cavernous Old Vic Tunnels underneath Waterloo Station on Saturday, will be “awesome”.

But for the rest of the weekend, more than 20 other games are on offer in a festival making a return after successful visits in 2009 and 2010.

Punch the Custard tracks how fast you can punch, Rolling Stones allows you to shift stone sculptures around to a soundtrack and electronic archery invites everyone to take aim, although traditionalists may be more satisfied by a particularly tricky game of hop scotch (Scotch Hoppers) and a giant cardboard coral Treasure Maze.

Most of it takes place in the Royal Festival Hall, and only two games are ticketed.

“It doesn’t matter whether people are PlayStation veterans or more into rock paper scissors,” adds Fleetwood.

“This is a celebration of play for all ages.”
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