Akron – The Akron Art Museum invites visitors to participate in a week-long, virtual celebration of games and the visual arts beginning Saturday, November 14 through Friday, November 20, 2020. Throughout the week, visitors will have the opportunity to play games and attend events that provide an in-depth exploration of game design.
The second annual GameFest allows participants of all ages to play eight different games, designed by independent game developers–everyone from up-and-comers to pros. Games will be accessible for free 24/7 through a virtual, interactive space designed by the students and faculty at Kent State University. Each day, different events will be held that explore game design, offer a deep dive into this year’s featured games, and provide social activities for families and friends.
Akron Art Museum Curator of Community Engagement Reggie Lynch said, “It was so exciting to see the positive response last year from our in-person Open World Arcade, so we knew we wanted to bring this kind of event to the community again. Last year was incredibly intergenerational and allowed grandparents to celebrate games and artists along with their grandchildren. This year, we hope this event can spark similar experiences with those who participate, bringing people together through the art of gaming. With COVID-19, we made the decision to pivot from the original concept to a virtual one, and there will now be a full week’s worth of opportunities to meet game designers, digitally connect with friends and family, and, of course, play games.” The program’s virtual delivery methods have been chosen to foster connection and play when physical mixing isn’t feasible.
People of all ages are invited to participate in GameFest at no cost for the virtual gameplay. All events are free for members and $5 for non-members. The following games are featured in the GameFest lineup:
- Astro Parcel Service
- Operation UNDEAD
- Woebegone Woods
- Gamer Girl
Kent State professor and one of GameFest’s organizers, Chris Totten, said, “We’re happy to once again bring the work of independent game makers to the Akron Art Museum. While we can’t be together, we see enormous opportunity in popular and innovative online platforms to bring the community together. AAM’s work continues to highlight the artistic potential of games and interactive media.”