We had a great time at EGX this year. Running the AskAboutGames and PEGI stand sparked a lot of interesting conversation around how families play games together and how the PEGI ratings play a key part in this.
Along with meeting readers (and soon-to-be readers) we also ran some sessions of an usual videogame called Johann Sebastian Joust. It's a game that uses the PlayStation 3 Move controllers to get players moving around in a tactical fashion. We had lots of space around our stand so it was ideal. Although it is a little hard to explain, the video below should give you an idea of how it works. It was good to see dads, sons, mums and daughters all giving the game a go. We even played a few rounds with Ask About Games and PEGI examiners in the mix.
One story that stayed with me was from an mum who home schooled her seven year old son. She had a few lessons using video-games, one of which leveraged Viva Pinata's animal ecosystem to teach about the food chain. In the game you have to create the right environment to attract different cartoon animals. Once they arrive you learn what they need to survive, and which animals are predators or prey. The game not only offered a novel way to engage a child in this topic, but worked well in the lesson plan.
We heard about a wide variety of favourite games from families at EGX, but one that kept cropping up was Lego Batman 3 at Warner and Skylanders Trap Team on the Nintendo stand. Over the course of the expo the different players could contribute to a play through of Trap Team and progress through the various levels: Future of Skylands, Troll Rocket Steal and Wilikin Workshop to name a few.
Also much talked about by visitors were the Ukie Video Game Ambassador EGX sessions that connect individuals from the games industry with up and coming talent. This was a great opportunity for families to get first hand advice on how best to get into the industry. Across the 4 days of the expo, the Careers Genius Bar offered guidance, talks, CV tips, portfolio analysis and one-to-one careers advice. Activities covered all areas of games, such as animation, games audio, indie studios, game design, coding, art, marketing/PR and community management.
We have some interviews with developers from that event that we'll publish on the website in the comings weeks.