Contrary to their stereotypical portrayal as dark room-dwelling, Oreo-stuffed loners with a phobia of trousers, gamers are actually a pretty social bunch, passionate about their hobby and looking to talk about it at any opportunity. It’s a shame, then, that outside of conferences and conventions, gaming-themed events aren’t all that common. So, if you’re looking for some events in London based around video games, whether it’s because your heartbeat sounds like a chiptune or you just want to try something new, we’ve listed some unmissable events for you here:
Gamerbake is a cooking-themed gaming event that started only this year, founded by George Osborn and Chris Kerr. With the #winning combination of cake and video games, we wonder why it hasn’t been done before. The concept is pretty simple: the Gamerbake team come up with a game related theme, you bake something that corresponds to that theme and you bring your creation along to the event! The best cake is decided by a panel of judges and the winner receives a prize.
If you’re not much of a cooking mama, fear not, you don’t have to compete to be part of the fun; you’re more than welcome to grab a free ticket and have a few drinks and some free cake. The inaugural bake-off had a theme of ‘Player one has entered the game’ and took place on June 15th at the Meltdown bar.
Invented by the wonderful One Life Left team, Marioke is the karaoke night that takes some of your favourite songs and makes them about videogames, resulting in more puns than you can shake your controller at (our favourite: ‘Atari Seems to be the Hardest Word’).
Hosted every month at Loading Bar in Dalston, Marioke lets you choose from more than 200 video game themed songs that will help you unleash your inner-Jigglypuff and perform for your adoring crowd. Or you can just read the lyrics from the screen and sing along from the bar, drink in hand.
3. McNeil and Pamphilon go 8-bit
Hilarious duo McNeil & Pamphilon mix together comedy and video games in their hit show McNeil and Pamphilon go 8-bit. The show involves comedians and audience members battling it out on classic video games for Team McNeil and Team Pamphilon. If their team loses, McNeil or Pamphilon have to perform a stupid forfeit.
The show has attracted a number of well known names in comedy for guests like Tom Vine, Sara Pascoe, and Marcus Brigstocke, which tells you something about how funny the show is, whether you bleed pixels or not. The event takes place at Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green and tickets cost £9.
4. Kotaku Game Nights
Hosted by the popular gaming website Kotaku in partnership with Gamerdisco, Kotaku Game Night is a monthly event that involves old and new multi-player games, good music, dancing, and drinking. Completely free and lots of fun, the event moves between Brighton and London each month.
5. eSports at Meltdown
Meltdown is a gaming bar on Caledonian Road dedicated almost entirely to eSports. There’s something happening 7 days a week, with each weeknight featuring tournaments and big screen streams of a different game, from Smash Bros to Hearthstone. On weekends they stream whatever big eSport event is happening around the world and run special events. If tournaments and competitive gaming aren’t really your thing, you’re also welcome to head down outside of tournament times and play whatever takes your fancy on the free to use PCs and consoles.
REZtron is a brand that does pop-up retrotainment bar and video games events inspired by 80s/90s pop culture, Japan and retro gaming. Their events will satisfy your nostalgic needs with consoles ranging from the Mega Drive to the Dreamcast with the option to play all of the classic SEGA and 3rd party games from 8-BIT to the 128-BIT era you thought you’d never get a chance to revisit. Plus the chance to drink, dance and geek-out with other people that share your SEGA love. There’s opportunities for retrotainment every month so keep an eye on the REZtron page for information on tickets, dates and locations.
We have equipped you with the knowledge, now band together, go forth, and game.
Main Image: © iStock/Todor Tsvetkov