Conway Hall, London · Oct 24th
  1. Produced by

The 7th Playful exposes secrecy and subterfuge as both problem and opportunity for the brilliant thinkers and creators who will unencrypt new worlds of play and supercharge your imagination. Expect a day of the unexpected, the funny and the bizarre in games, interaction, technology, design and beyond.

Jemima Kiss
Compère: Jemima Kiss

It’s pronounced “Kish”. Head of Technology at The Guardian. Mother of a lot of output via website, podcasts, Zip File, blogs, videos and newsprint as well as her own at home. She even wrote about our (Mudlark’s) Chromaroma game way back when.


A key member of the Copenhagen Game Collective, Ida Marie Toft is a game designer and media artist. Her work explores technology’s engagement with culture, in particular how technology can foster uncanny social constellations. Ida is starting her PhD at TAG Research Centre at Concordia University, Montreal.

Copenhagen Games Collective are responsible for Jelly Stomp, Magnetize Me, Dark Room Sex Game and a lot of other strange game experiments and productions. Among other things they are co-curating this year’s LystSummit—Love Sex and Romance in Games—on a love boat.


Dave Birch is a thought leader in digital money and digital identity. One of the 2014 “Power 50” in European digital financial services, in 2013 he was named one of WIRED magazine’s global top 15 favourite sources of news from the world of business and finance.

Dave is a Director of Consult Hyperion, the technical and strategic consultancy that specialises in electronic transactions. Described in The Telegraph as “one of the world’s leading experts on digital money”, he has just published Identity is the New Money.


Rachel Coldicutt is an original and an originator. She was there at the birth of Culture Hack, Caper, and of course, Articulate (the delivery room for that one was Playful 2011). She has worked with all sorts of other good people too (BBC, V&A, Royal Opera, and Site Gallery—our own landlords up here in Sheffield) getting them digital, getting them social, getting them thinking. And now she’s at Friday as well as being a star turn at Playful Friday.


Lekha has a frankly intimidating career so far, moving from engineering and computer science to game and UX design and founding Manhattan’s Paper and Equator innovation lab. She’s currently also Designer in Residence at Autodesk, the San Francisco cutting edge 3D software guys, so we are thrilled she’s agreed to take the plane in the other direction to dazzle the Playful throng.


Dan is Creative Director of the digital stuff at Aardman Animation. He gets to spend a lot of time doing fun things like making games, nurturing online communities, creating mutli-platform extravaganzas and generally poking about in the messy bits between storytelling and interactivity. He’s particularly interested in how the digital world will affect society.


As a Producer at Aardman Animations, George specialises in games, apps and other cool digital things. He has produced: top performing BBC games, interactive websites for well-loved brands, an initiative to get kids into coding, and a phenomenal amount of spreadsheets. In his spare time he writes stories and directs an alternative Christmas pantomime in Bristol.


As well as being 50% of ELK, Henry Cooke is a technologist and serial tinkerer who has seen his work projected 70ft high on the South Bank, created a small army of curious Twitter bots, explored the fuzzy edges of computer perception and contributed to the first app to be inducted into MoMA’s permanent collection. He’s particularly adapted for seizing, grasping and holding—see his Prehensile site—and we happen to know he’s got a strange grip on something quite mysterious for October 24th.


Dave is a scientist and artist, focused on using technology to reveal and highlight processes which are normally obscure, invisible or inaccessible. In his artwork, he uses digital and analogue electronics to create interfaces between humans and computers, to engage with physical systems and generally to make noise. He combines software, electronics, field recording, augmented reality, tangible interfaces and music to create performances and installations.

In his academic work (University of Edinburgh, School of Informatics), Dave explores ways in which humans and computers can coordinate and collaborate their activities, and how formal systems can be softened enough for people to engage with them in a natural, bottom up, democratic manner.


The Boneloaf studio was setup in 2011 by the three Brown brothers (James, Jonathan, and Michael) to make games and toys informed by a shared adolescence playing multiplayer arcade games and making silly drawings. Having experimented with various platforms and technologies to make a series of game prototypes, they stand on the brink of the big time with their physics-based, multiplayer brawler Gang Beasts. Gang Beasts is already a Steam and YouTube phenomenon and you’ll be able to have a brawl on it yourself at Playful, as well as hearing from James about the about the surprises and richness of emergent gameplay apparent in the game’s co-op physics sandbox world.

███ ██

Thanks to

Sponsor Playful