Past Events

Worlds: An afternoon of conversation about roleplay games 
Wednesday 26th July, 1pm to 6pm
Marc Gascoigne, David Blandy, Jamie Sutcliffe, Jamie Harper

You are cordially invited to join us for an afternoon of chat about roleplay games, world building and the cultures that the genre has created. The release of Dungeons and Dragons in 1974 has unleashed half a century of roleplay games that have existed in the margins and the shadows of society, often subject to significant suspicion from the mainstream culture. After almost half a century they have slowly entered mainstream culture and their impact, ambition and reach continue to grow.

Our speakers come from a range of backgrounds reflecting on how the ideas of roleplay games have developed and changed over the decades. They will look at how they are played today from the kitchen table and hobby shop, via online play to contemporary art and theatre settings. At their best these games provide a space of consensus and community that allows participants to explore their relations to the world around them. 

1pm Introduction and welcome
1.10 Marc Gascoigne in conversation with Hugo Worthy 
2.20 Refreshments  
2.40 David Blandy and Jamie Sutcliffe in conversation 
3.50 Jamie Harper 
5.00 to 5.45 Panel Discussion 
5.45 final questions, thanks and close  

The speakers are… 

Marc Gascoigne is the World Fantasy Award-winning publisher behind Asmodee’s new Aconyte Books imprint, but you might know him from Games Workshop’s Black Library, his imprints Angry Robot and Solaris, contributions to the Fighting Fantasy series and various RPGs, or many other projects from the borders between novels and fantasy games.

David Blandy makes work that slips between performance and video, digital and analogue, investigating the stories and cultural forces that inform and influence our lives. Collaboration is central to his practice, examining communal and personal heritage and interdependence. With research spanning multiple forms of archive, from historic texts to academic archives, archaeology and ecological theory, twitch streams and film archives, Blandy weaves poetic works that explore the complexities of the contemporary subject. He has exhibited & performed at venues nationally and worldwide, with solo shows at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Towner Gallery, Eastbourne; Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea; The Baltic, Gateshead; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Spike Island, Bristol; The Exchange, Newlyn; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany. 

Jamie Sutcliffe is a writer, curator, and co-director of Strange Attractor Press. His work explores artistic encounters with science fictive fabulation, the politics of gaming, animation and its multiple entanglements with developments in the life sciences, haunted media, the digital uncanny, and the persistence of myth, all understood as technologies of selfhood. He is the editor of Documents of Contemporary Art: Magic, published by The Whitechapel Gallery and The MIT Press, and his essays, reviews, and interviews have been featured in Art Monthly, Frieze, The White Review, Rhizome, Art Review, The Quietus, Art Agenda, Bricks From The Kiln, and IsThisIt, amongst others. 

Jamie Harper is a theatre director, play designer and performance researcher. In 2013, he received a Churchill Trust Travelling Fellowship to research the intersection of game design and drama at University of Miami and, following this project, he has made several participatory performance works that incorporate play including:  ArchipelagoThe Lowland Clearances and The City Limits for Camden People’s Theatre, People Vs Democracy at the Free Word Centre, Here is the Place (with artist Adam James) for Serpentine Galleries, Nudge, which was the runner up for Headlong Theatre’s 2016 Digital Artist Award andWashing Machine for the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle. He is an active member of the Nordic Larp (live action role-play) community and has presented larp works at international festivals including Grenselandet in Oslo, Blackbox CPH in Copenhagen and Minsk Larp Festival in Belarus. He currently works as Lecturer in Drama at the University of Plymouth.

Worlds has been developed by Leicester Gallery and The Leicester Centre for Creative Writing at De Montfort University. It is part of a pilot project with The National Trust looking at site-based roleplay games as a gateway for young people into heritage sites. 

To book your place please email:

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