Festival of Play launches in association with Electronic Arts to bring the games industry to life for schools

Author: Laura Martin, Comms & Programme Manager

Guildford and Manchester to play host to festivals in July packed full of fun activities, inspiring workshops and innovative talks aimed at developing STEAM skills and careers advice.

Book your free tickets.

Digital Schoolhouse has announced the dates of the Festival of Play, a brand new creative careers and Computing conference for students aged 8-15 in association with Electronic Arts that will showcase the breadth and depth of roles available in the UK games industry.  

Taking place on Friday 8 July at the Guildford Pavilion and at HOST Salford on Wednesday 13 July in two major hubs of the UK games industry, the Festival of Play will be packed with interactive workshops, inspiring talks and innovative games to spark young people’s interest in the industry. 

The unique school trip will educate and empower students to get closer to the technology and tools used to make video games and develop their interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) subjects.  

The conference will also engage the teachers in attendance by giving them the skills to teach Computing in creative and playful ways that brings the subject to life in the classroom while supporting Continued Professional Development. 

And alongside a range of activities, live music and entertainment, the students will also get a chance to hear from and meet people who work in the games industry – encouraging them to think about how the skills that make games today can match up with the careers they may grow into in the future. 

“We’re unbelievably excited to bring the Festival of Play to life this summer with the support of Electronic Arts,” commented Shahneila Saeed, Programme Director of Digital Schoolhouse. “It’s been a long-term dream of mine to run an event like this that translates students' fun and passion for games into practical opportunities for careers and skills development and I can’t wait for us to get started”. 

"Partnering with Digital Schoolhouse on its first Festival of Play was a no-brainer for us," comments Chris Bruzzo, Chief Experience Officer of Electronic Arts. "We're always on the hunt for innovative ways to help bridge the gap between education and industry. One way for us to do this is through partnering with fantastic programmes such as Digital Schoolhouse to inspire future generations from all backgrounds about the incredible journey that studying STEAM subjects can take them on.  

The Festival of Play lets us do precisely that across two jam-packed days, and it's even more exciting to see the inaugural events take place in our own backyard; Guildford, home to the award-winning Criterion Studio and our UK head office, and Manchester, where we've got the first-class mobile games studio, Playdemic." 

Today’s announcement is the latest initiative in the partnership between Electronic Arts and Digital Schoolhouse launched earlier this year.  The partnership aims to improve primary school engagement with computer science while inspiring the next generation to pursue a career in STEAM in the 52 primary schools in the Digital Schoolhouse network. 

Book your free tickets

Schools can register for the Festival of Play for free for either the Guildford or Manchester.

Please email sian@ukie.org.uk with any questions.