Tinderbox PlayAway Press Release


Media Release: For Immediate Release

Tinderbox PlayAway Games Festival:
Looking to the games sector for inspiration in an online world

Online festival featuring over 30 game designers, artists, composers, researchers, educators and others involved in games.

Dates: Mon 22nd Feb – Fri 5th March
Festival Info & Registration at


Over 2 weeks, from Monday 22nd Feb – Friday 5th March, Tinderbox PlayAway Games Festival will be showcasing and celebrating the creativity, diversity, innovation, and imagination in games and interactive media.  Over 30 game designers, artists, composers, educators and others involved in games will be getting together through a series of panel discussions, workshops, demos, music performances, virtual play sessions and game jams – and we’d love you to join us too!

At a time when so many people across the world are moving on-line due to the pandemic, we wanted to turn to the Games industry for inspiration – to ask how games are adapting and responding to the pandemic, and to explore what role they could play looking ahead.

Are there possibilities for new connections, collaborations and learning between gaming worlds and other sectors? What are the most interesting ways of playing and interacting both online and offline at the moment? And how can we build a more playful and creative way forward for us all in the future?

As well as a festival for people involved in games, Tinderbox PlayAway welcomes people from other sectors and different artforms. A range of speakers & events will explore some of the cross-sections between games and education, well-being, research, music, theatre and other areas, and it hopes to prompt new ideas, discussions and collaborations.

The festival is being run on a donations-based model – it aims to be free & accessible for anyone to attend, while paying our speakers and performers fairly.

Festival director Luci Holland (Tinderbox Collective, Scala Radio) said:

“Games are such an exciting artform with so much depth and possibilities – they use all sorts of creative formats and technologies, inviting people to collaborate, communicate and explore ideas, and always with a playful ethos. We hope this festival will showcase some of this variety and create new connections and conversations with people from different sectors, including those who might not know much about games – yet!”

Keynote Speaker and best-selling author, Jane McGonigal, said:

“We all need a boost of creativity and imagination right now, so I’m thrilled that the festival invited me to share my research. Games are a powerful, renewable source of positive emotions and social connection. And in the past few years, game scientists have found that there are specific ways we can play to get the most benefits and the biggest resilience boost. I can’t wait to share what we’ve learned!”


Festival Features:

Keynote speaker: Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal, PhD, is the Director of Game Research + Development at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California. She is the author of two New York Times bestselling books: Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully. Her TED talks on how games can make a better world have more than 15 million views.


Other Highlights

Please note, Chipzel was previously advertised as the headline act but unfortunately, has had to cancel performing at the festival due to family reasons. – 03/03/21

Game Composer Panel
Panel discussion featuring Jenny Nelson (Scala Radio), Nainita Desai (Telling Lies, For Sama) and Guy Jackson (Sea of Solitude)

Game Designer Panel

Panel discussion, featuring Jon McKellan (No Code – Observation, Stories Untold), Dan Pinchbeck (The Chinese Room – Dear Esther, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Little Orpheus) and Shay Thompson (BBC Sounds, Press X To Continue)

SGDA Play Party

Livestream and games playthrough with the Scottish Games Developers Association

1-day Bitsy Game Jam

Make and share games using Bitsy – more info here


Media Partners & Sponsors
Scala Radio

Scottish Games Network


Scottish Game Developers Association

University of Glasgow Games & Gaming Lab

Games Jobs Live

Creative Scotland

Creative Informatics

Creative Bridge (CodeBase)

Game Music Connect

About Tinderbox
Tinderbox is a collective of young people, musicians, artists and youth workers. From grass-roots youth work to award winning art productions, they aim to ignite a spark – one which fills people with confidence, imagination and sense of possibility, and which enables people to achieve things they never thought possible.

Notes to the editor:
For further information, or press assets, please contact Luci Holland at 
Tel: 07835297119

Press Photos & Images available here.

Notes from Sponsors:
Scala Radio is an entertainment radio station playing classical music in the UK. Playing familiar masters from Mozart and Holst to surprising new works from living composers like Karl Jenkins, Rebecca Dale and Thom Yorke, join us as Scala Radio brings classical music into the 21st century. Scala Radio is available on DAB, on our website and on our Scala Radio App.

Creative Informatics is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, CodeBase and Creative Edinburgh. The programme is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the UK Government’s Industrial strategy, it is part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal initiative and is also supported by the Scottish Funding Council. Find out more at creativeinformatics.org

Creative Bridge is a fully-funded, 10-week course (3 hours per week), specifically designed for creatives interested in building digital products. It consists of talks from leading creative entrepreneurs, workshops and business modelling sessions, taking participants through methodologies used by fast growing startups. The course will focus on your personal growth – we won’t be going through your current business plan, rather thinking more abstractly about best practice in building great products.

Game Music Connect was created by James Hannigan and John Broomhall to celebrate and explore the amazing music and sound design of video games and the extraordinary talent behind it via an insightful series of conversations, lectures and case studies from around the world.