VOID Gaming Festival
More than 1,000 residents raised the roof in Thamesmead for the VOID Gaming Festival.
Charlton Athletic FC (CAFC) and Charlton Athletic Women’s FC (CAWFC) joined more than 1,000 residents from Thamesmead and the surrounding areas at the first ever Thamesmead gaming festival (21-25 August).
It was Charlton Athletic Vs Charlton Athletic Women’s on Wednesday as CAFC defender, Archie Edwards took on CAWFC’s captain, Kim Dixson in a game of e-sports at the VOID Gaming Festival in partnership with Peabody, PopUp Business School and GAME.
The moment Charlton players realise they have been defeated by Thamesmead residents, Dayne Blake and Tyler Earley
The crowd raised the roof every time the ball went near the net, with Edwards beating Dixson 5-0 and who went on to double-up with team-mate and co-defender, Jo Cummings to take on the gaming festival’s FIFA winners, 13-year-old friends Dayne Blake and Tyler Earley, with the two Thamesmead teenagers winning 4-2 on penalties.
Peabody’s Executive Director for Thamesmead, John Lewis said: “The VOID Gaming Festival has been a great success. Thank you to our partners, PopUp Business School and Game, as well as Charlton Athletic. The online gaming industry is now worth more than both the TV and film industry combined and is introducing many people to activities and industries they may have never thought of before.
E-sports like FIFA can build a passion for sports while Minecraft can build an interest in architecture, construction and landscaping. We need to look at residents interest and transferable skills and support them to reach their full potential.”
13-year-old Thamesmead resident, Tyler Earley (top right) said: “I have been playing football, both on and off the pitch since I was eight-years-old. I play for a team and prefer playing football in person as it’s active and more intense. I would like to be a pro-footballer. When I’m not on the pitch though, I really enjoy playing FIFA.”
GAME’s Community Development Manager, Steve Stretch said: “VOID Gaming has been a very rewarding and unique experience that allowed GAME to engage with the local community in Thamesmead.
One of the best things about VOID was the variety of the event and the organisations involved from VR experiences to educational talks and guest speakers. We were also excited to work with Ubisoft and Charlton Athletic in delivering a different experience to gaming fans throughout the week.”
FIFA winners, 13-year-olds Dayne Blake and Tyler Earley with Charlton’s Archie Edwards, Kim Dixson and Jo Cummings
While Charlton Athletic FC’s defender, Jo Cummings said: “I am always playing football whether it is on or off the pitch, the whole team does, we’re always competing against each other at FIFA, especially when we are playing away. The great thing about games like FIFA is that is gives everyone interested in football the chance to compete at it.”
As well as participating in e-sports, residents were able to meet key players in the gaming world, hear motional speakers, go on virtual reality tours, take part in gaming tournaments and see 3D printing first-hand, amongst other things.
12-year-old Thamesmead resident, Xaria Dotse (above) said: “I got a VR headset for Christmas. The thing I love most about VR is that I can pretend to have a job, as a waitress, cashier, mechanic or work in an office but my VR is nothing compared to what I have seen today.” Adding, “I do lots of testing and sit on a market research panel that asks kids for feedback on games, movies and even food. I would like to work as an online tester when I am older.”
PopUp Business School Co-Founder, Alan Donegan said: “It was fantastic for the PopUp Business School team to launch VOID Gaming in Thamesmead with Peabody and GAME.It gave the local community a chance to play the latest games and get expert advice on how to make money from gaming and YouTube. This is the first of many gaming festivals – next time it will be even bigger and better!”
More than 6.5m people worldwide participate in E-Sports, the 2022 Asian Games will include competitive video gaming and Olympic organisers are discussing the introduction of E-sports at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The gaming and enterprise industry is worth £3.8billion in the UK alone and $100billion worldwide, that’s bigger than the TV and film industry combined.
Investing in Thamesmead
Over £1billion is being invested in Thamesmead, making it not only the biggest regeneration project in London but one of the biggest in the UK.
Home to more than 45,000 people, Thamesmead has the capacity for another 20,000 new homes and thousands of high value new jobs, complemented by a new leisure, cultural and commercial offer for the town and for London.