If you’ve found yourself with a few free weekends in the remainder of 2012, don’t waste them doing your Christmas shopping, or sitting in the pub with “friends”, go to video game events! Here’s our latest selection of recommended festivals, shows and conferences with a gaming theme. And if we’ve missed off the one you’re organising, shout at is in the comments section and we’ll pop it in.

London Games Festival
When: 27 Sept – 28 Oct
Where: various venues, London
What: There’s still time to enjoy this month-long celebration of gaming, taking place throughout the capital. The always lively MCM London Comic Con (26-28 October) is set to close things out in style.

Hackfest TV
When: 26-27 October
Where: Greenwich Digital Peninsula, London
What: A fascinating get-together for transmedia makers, featuring talks and workshops and, of course, a competition to create new transmedia content using a ton of SDKs and APIs. The likes of Ogilvy Innovation Labs, Portal Entertainment, BBC Writers Room, Young Rewired State and Agora Media will be there. It’s the future of television – and games!

GameCity 7
When: 20-27 October
Where: various venues, Nottingham city centre
What: The annual games event that I will go ahead and call ‘utterly unmissable to anyone who has even glanced with ardour at a video game’ is now a week-long odyssey, taking in the usual selection of inspiring talks, indie game expos and amusing evening shenanigans. Gamesblog will there too, albeit in a reduced capacity, hosting one of seven different mornings at the Broadway Cinema cafe. I’ll also be taking part in the Friday evening event, ‘Reads like a seven’, which also features fellow Guardian writers Christian Donlan and Simon Parkin! You must also see the Six Sides of Terry Cavanagh, Proteus Live and (added to this section due to popular demand) One Shot Left.

When: 31 October -2 November
Where: The Assembly Rooms, Bath
What: Now into its second year, ExPlay is boutique conference aimed at small studios and game design students in the West of England. It features a bootcamp to guide start-ups through their first project as well as loads of interesting talks and discussion events. It was in Plymouth last year, but now its moving to Bath, and is being sponsored by Edge magazine, which will be hosting a quiz on the last night. And you get to visit the lovely Assembly rooms, where Jane Austen no doubt discussed the state of indie game development in Somerset, while supping tea and observing the stultifying cruelty of Georgian society.

Launch conference
When: 13-14 November
Where: Birmingham Science Park, Aston
What: Aimed at developers, start-ups and students, this friendly and diverse conference showcasesG the most interesting work coming out of studios and academic institutes in the Midlands. There’s a huge range of speakers including Rod Cousens (CEO of Codemasters and all-round industry veteran), Trevor Williams (co-founder of Playground Games, the developer of Forza Horizon) and Jo Twist (CEO of UK games industry trade body, UKIE), plus, I’ll be there talking about games journalism! This is a really valuable event for wannabe developers in the region, with lots of access to movers and shakers in the region.

The Gadget Show Live Christmas
When: 30 November – 2 December
Where: ExCeL, London
What: A new sister event to Birmingham’s regular Gadget Show Live. It’s a general consumer electronics love-fest, of course, but there’s a huge games contingent, with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all showing off their wares, including Halo 4, Wonderbook and the Wii U. EA will also be present with its latest titles. Entry is £11 four adults on the Friday or £12.95 on the Saturday or Sunday.

From: guardian.co.uk – Read more