Festival of Games: Bringing tabletop fun to everyone

In an age dominated by screens and digital entertainment, there’s a growing movement to unplug, reconnect with others and discover the joys of tabletop gaming. Unplug Yourself has taken a significant step in this direction with the launch of its inaugural Festival of Games.

The Festival of Games is more than just another series of event; it’s a celebration of the enduring appeal and benefits of organised tabletop gaming. From classic games like Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and Catan to modern favourites like Codenames and Exploding Kittens, the festival promises a diverse array of gaming experiences for enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

Philip Galliford, a longtime advocate for tabletop gaming and one of the key figures behind the Unplug Yourself movement, comments: “We are thrilled to be launching Festival of Games. We saw a gap in the market for formally bringing people together at a long series of tabletop gaming events, and we took it. We believe everyone should experience the joy and social spirit that tabletop gaming brings. The events welcome families, seasoned players and newcomers alike. There’s something magical about sitting around a table, rolling dice and strategising with friends, family and newly made acquaintances.”

The Festival of Games aims to introduce more people to the variety of games available on the shelf, from hobby stores and online retailers. In addition to experiencing new games, players can participate in tournaments, demonstrations and learn to play events, led by experienced players and industry experts such as Pokémon Professors. These activities offer valuable opportunities for learning, skills development and networking within the tabletop gaming community.

“Globally, and in South Africa particularly, there is a resurgence of interest in tabletop gaming, and a growing demand for innovative and diverse game experiences that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. There are a lot of exciting things on the cards this year: D&D celebrates its 50th year, Catan New Energy is landing, Pokémon will be bringing out new sets, and more,” continues Galliford.

As society becomes increasingly digitised and interconnected, there’s a move to unplug, disconnect from screens and reconnect on a deeper level. The Festival of Games offers a big, bold and refreshing alternative to digital entertainment, allowing people to bond, laugh and pursue a new hobby.

The Festival of Games is happening at various venues throughout the country – JHB East Rand and CPT North. Be sure to buy tickets to secure your place. Registration ends on 13 April 2024.

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