I had never been to EGX Rezzed or Now Play This before, and this was my third time at A MAZE.
I went because I feel like much of the game industry is still focused on the US, but to me, the majority of the interesting games culture and arts events seemed to be happening in (Western) Europe. What are they doing over there, what's their magic sauce, and how can I bring some of that sensibility back to the US?
Here's some general thoughts and Wot I Think:
EGX Rezzed is mainly a customer-facing fan expo branded by Eurogamer and Rock Paper Shotgun in the Tobacco Docks, a complex of open-air brick vaults ringed with balconies and breakout rooms that feel like giant people-sized aquariums. It's a fraction of the size of the main EGX London or bigger US fan expos like PAX, but still features the same tabletop gaming rooms, indie publisher megabooths, and merch stands. It was fine, but personally I'm just not very interested in fan expos.
I enjoyed the more eclectic Leftfield Collection room, curated by David Hayward each year. And I particularly enjoyed Doggerland Radio by Amy Godliman, a modded vintage radio that you can tune to pseudo-real BBC radio dramas and poetic shipping forecasts, while playing with bespoke "feelies" like an impossibly old novel made of other novels or old vintage-style maps. It's like a very British version of Calvino's Invisible Cities, a mobile art game installation that would make the most sense in the UK.
The local neighborhood feels awkward even for London -- you either have to walk 20 minutes east from the Tower of London tube station, or take a semi-incorporated public transit line called the DLR. Other than the event venue, there's approximately one McDonalds with a 100 person