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

WordPlay 2015 will be held on November 7th, 2015, from 12 – 5 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library. Our mainstage guests this year will include Emily Short, Sam Barlow, the Night in the Woods team, Christine Love, and more to be announced in the months ahead — subscribe here for breaking news, and visit our announcement for showcase submission information.

PAST FESTIVALS

WordPlay 2013

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Christine Love does a Twine workshop.
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See here for the Wordplay 2013 Showcase. WordPlay 2013 also featured the world première of the Kentucky Route Zero release “The Entertainment.”

Panel: Where Prose Meets Play

A panel that investigated the intersection between books and games, by people who have one foot in both worlds: webcomic writer Ryan North (To Be or Not to BeDinosaur Comics), Hugo-award winner Peter Watts (Crysis 2 novelization), game & comic creator Rachel Kahn (By Crom!), and author/illustrator/game maker Matt Hammill (Sir Reginald’s LogbookLovers in a Dangerous Spacetime). Moderated by novelist and game maker Jim Munroe.

Discussion: Kentucky Route Zero

Hand Eye Society co-founder Miguel Sternberg (They Bleed Pixels) sat down with the Chicago-based creators of Kentucky Route Zero, a magical realist point-and-click adventure game with Flannery O’Connor influences that’s charmed the festival circuit (Independent Games Festival, Indiecade). Miguel asked Jake and Tamas thoughtful questions posed by the community.

WordPlay 2014

Andrew Plotkin talking about Hadean Lands.
Live Porpentine Game Playing
The iPad nook.
Our first awards.

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See here for photos and the Wordplay 2014 Showcase. WordPlay 2014 also featured the world première of a Porpentine game played live by our audience. The week prior we also had an exhibit of new writerly games.

Hadean Lands: The Alchemy of iPhones and Social Capital

Interactive fiction legend Andrew Plotkin from Boston, MA discusses Hadean Lands, a text adventure made for iOS which he Kickstarted 4 years ago and released just the week previous. He is introduced by XO podcaster Keith McNally.

United We Fall: Storytelling Systems in Dungeons of Fayte

Montreal’s Brent Ellison and Tanya X. Short talk about their cult narrative game Dungeons of Fayte, which was a big inspiration to The Yawhg. Yawhg co-creator Damian Sommer and Hand Eye Society co-founder Miguel Sternberg introduce them.

partners Produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Festival Director: Will O’Neill Technical Coordinator: Daniel Harley Submissions Coordinator: Kelsi Morris Volunteer Coordinator: John Rathiganthan Members at Large: Kara Stone, Kaitlin Tremblay

Festival identity: Beehive Design