WordPlay is a free festival celebrating the most interesting uses of writing and words in contemporary games. Each year there is a curated game showcase, talks by creators about the craft, and ways for the public to learn about making games.

Usually held in Toronto, WordPlay came to London for the first time in 2016, where our venue was none other than the British Library!


It was decided to hold WordPlay in the UK this year to celebrate the wealth of interactive fiction talent here—Inkle (80 Days), Failbetter (Sunless Sea), Six To Start (Zombies, Run!), Sam Barlow (Her Story) and Emily Short, to name a few. We also wanted to strengthen interconnections between game-makers in different cities, and provide new opportunities for game writers on either side of the pond to learn from and enjoy each other’s work.

This festival of writerly games happened in London, UK, at the British Library. The largest library in the world, its collection of over 170 million items includes the manuscript copy of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (which was later published as Alice in Wonderland), the Beowulf manuscript (the oldest surviving long poem in Old English), Captain Cook’s journal, Gutenberg Bibles, and two copies of the Magna Carta.

The festival date this year was Saturday November 19th to coincide with International Games in Libraries Day.

WordPlay London was run in collaboration with its Canadian organisers, the Hand Eye Society. WordPlay’s London Festival Director is Jo Summers, who is involved in programming and producing a range of UK based playful events, such as Feral Vector and Now Play This.