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.
The 5th annual WordPlay Festival takes place Saturday, November 18 2017!

Sat. November 18th, 12-5pm
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St. (Bloor-Yonge subway)

Click here for the full WordPlay 2017 Program!


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WordPlay 2016

In 2016, we brought the festival to the UK with WordPlay London. Co-presented by Press Play to Win, it was hosted at the British Library as part of International Games Day @ your Library.


See here for our photo recap, credits, and listing of the showcase games.


We livestreamed all the programming! For a session-by-session breakdown and links please refer here.


WordPlay 2015

WordPlay 2015 featured mainstage presentations and interviews from guests Sam Barlow, Christine Love, Emily Short and the team of Night in the Woods. Also included was our curated, annual showcase of playable writerly games, the Choosatron, and interactive workshops in Twine, Ren’py and Inform 7. See here for our photo recap and listing of the showcase games.

WordPlay 2014

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.

WordPlay 2013

Christine Love does a Twine workshop.
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.

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.

Festival identity: Beehive Design
Founder: Jim Munroe