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Gaming in Kent

Ellie Graham
15th June 2022

What do you think of when you hear the word “games”? Perhaps ping pong, maybe hide-and-seek, what about chess? Well, here in Kent, we think outside the box. And then a little bit further still. For years now, our gaming scene has been getting bigger and bigger, with something going on for any gamer – whether you like to keep it simple with Scrabble or prefer to venture into VR. And with the Medway Gaming & Creative Festival coming to Chatham this summer, this is the perfect time to share with you some of the best spots in Kent that will be sure to keep your mind active and your imagination running free.

Medway Gaming & Creative Festival

16th & 17th July, The Historic Dockyard Chatham

The wonderful world of gaming is taking over this summer in Kent and you certainly won’t want to miss out! Spend a sunny weekend at the beautiful Historic Dockyard Chatham at the Medway Gaming & Creative Festival. Join in on the fun and have a go at both modern and retro games (Pacman anyone?) or simply sit back and watch the pros in a competitive match. If screens are a bit too old school for you, why not head over to the VR arena and have a shootout with some friends? Or, even better, get fully immersed and cosplay for the day. There’s so much to see and do, you might struggle to fit it all in – lucky for you, there’s a whole weekend to adventure around and let your imagination go wild. Hop on an Arriva bus with discounted Duo Ticket or wander down from Chatham train station, being sure to stop off along the way at an old fire station turned brasserie or Britain’s biggest and best-preserved Napoleonic fort! With tickets for the festival available for children and adults, and under 4s going free, this is a weekend the whole family will be sure to enjoy. Let out your inner child as you explore the past, present and future of gaming.

The Gaming Room at Turner Contemporary 

12th March - 19th June, Margate

Over at Turner Contemporary in Margate, the wonderful work of Larry Achiampong is being displayed. Largely influenced by video games, Achiampong’s work takes inspiration from the likes of Legend of Zelda among many others. Take a trip to the gallery to not only view some beautiful artwork, but to also take part in game design workshops and talks. You can grab a soft or alcoholic drink at the bar while you enjoy the work on display and become inspired by the wonderful world of gaming. 

Board at Home

Ramsgate 

Take a break from busy life with a sit down at the Board at Home Café in Ramsgate. For the overhand shufflers, dice blowers and strategic thinkers, there are endless options of games to enjoy. Sit back and enjoy a hot drink while you play with friends and family for the morning, afternoon, or maybe even a whole day to get through the 200+ board games available. Peruse through the rest of the shop and be sure to come back each week for board game nights, Board at The Pub events, or even RPG Club - although we can’t promise your night won’t end like an episode of Stranger Things.

The Escapement - Captcha Code

Broadstairs

By now, everyone has heard of escape rooms. Staged settings that push your puzzle-solving skills to the max, and let you see which of your friends you’d least like to be stuck in a room with in real life. At The Escapement, they've taken it one step further to give you an even bigger challenge in their adventure ‘The Captcha Code’. Combining the well known escape room with the much loved treasure hunt, this puzzle sees you and friends as undercover agents in the beautiful seaside town of Broadstairs. Except it’s not chips and sun you’re looking for – it’s hidden locations, local business allies and deep historical mysteries. Bring a bag for your spy device, tools, and map – and welcome aboard the team.

 

Playopolis

Rochester

Here’s another board game café for those of you coming in from London. A bit closer to home, Playopolis offers a huge range of board games (over 600!), with more being added every week. While you can come in any time, you can also book beforehand or sign up for one of their memberships – who can refuse discounted food and being able to borrow games to take home with you? There’s a range of hot drinks for you to cosy up with while you play, as well as beer and cocktails if you want a bit of booze with your backgammon. Stay and grab a bite to eat, with a tasty menu that includes lots of vegan, gluten free and dairy free options too.

The Micro Museum 

Ramsgate

Switch your playing hat for your learning hat as you enter the Museum of Vintage Computers & Games in Ramsgate. With a collection of 100s of vintage personal computers, calculators, games, and micro-electronics, you’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time to the dawn of gaming. Discover how technology in the 70s and 80s shaped how we game today - spoiler alert, it's a lot!  Then maybe pop your playing hat back on as you try out some of the oldest game consoles around – we'll bring the Rubik's cube if you bring the Walkman! Just a short walk from the beach, it’ll be the perfect trip down memory lane for the whole family to enjoy.

Pub Quizzes

Whether you’re visiting friends or fancy doing something a bit different in your local area, Kent is jam packed with pubs (with there being 45 in Canterbury alone!), meaning a weekly quiz is only ever a short walk away. Not only do you get to show off how smart you are to all your friends, but they’re also a great way to support local businesses and get to know the people in your area. Plus, being able to win a prize might even be better than knowing what the capital of Peru is! So, grab a pen, a witty team name and head on out for a night of trivia!

Travel with Arriva

Save your wallet and the environment this gaming season by travelling with Arriva. With routes throughout Kent, including Medway and Maidstone, they'll get you to the Rapture Gaming Festival in no time. Plus, if you're going with a friend, their Duo Ticket means you can lower the price and heighten the fun! Check out their great deals on bus travel. 

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