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The return of Gaming Expo East Kent (GEEK) in Margate

  • Date: 11 February 2013
  • Area: National, South East
Arcade, GEEK, 2012

Arcade, GEEK, 2012. Credit: Photo courtesy of GEEK

This month sees the return of Gaming Expo East Kent, otherwise known as GEEK, the gaming festival that last year set a new Guinness world record for the greatest number of people playing Pong, the oldest commercial video game.

Taking place during 21 to 24 February 2013 in Margate - one of the top 10 destinations in the world according to Rough Guides - GEEK 2013 is supported with more than £44,000 in Arts Council England Grants for the arts funding.

Grants for the arts is Arts Council England's open application funding programme, investing National Lottery money to support activities that engage people in the arts and helps artists and arts organisations with their work.

A gaming festival might not seem the most obvious funding choice for Arts Council England but as Jon Pratty, South East Relationship Manager, Digital and Creative Economy, explains, the games industry is a vitally important part of our thriving creative sector:

'According to the DCMS, the UK gaming industry generates global sales of around £1.7 billion a year and contributes around £400 million per annum to the GDP.

'GEEK is all about supporting that creative industry, encouraging more people to get involved in gaming, get support with developing new games, and have fun.'

Kate Kneale is Director of GEEK: 'Games are a cultural and creative activity, and with more than 1,000 games to take part in, GEEK aims to celebrate that. GEEK is about more than playing games though - we want to create jobs and continue to drive the cultural regeneration of Margate. Come and join us - it's going to be an amazing four days.'

GEEK 2013 is themed around three ideas: meet, make and play. Visitors can expect to meet game developers, producers and fellow gamers; take part in creative workshops celebrating the art of innovation from making robots to flipbooks; and play games old and new - from retro video games to Punch the Custard. For more inspiration, check out the GEEK Gazette.

To learn more about GEEK, see http://www.geek2013.co.uk. For information about our Grants for the arts scheme, see http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-for-funding/grants-for-the-arts/