Run For The Border will kick off at The Spirit Store in Dundalk, Ireland on 19 January 2019, running from 7pm to 11:30pm. The two largest game organisations on the island, Imirt from the Republic and Games NI from the North, – will bring together over 150 game developers and enthusiasts for an international cross-border clash of clans. It is expected that this will be the largest ever gathering of independent game developers throughout the island of Ireland.
Dundalk is a bordertown exactly halfway between Dublin and Belfast. Placing Run For The Border at the Belfast/Dublin halfway point was a vision of the event from the beginning. Neither group wanted it to be a specifically Northern or Southern event; it was always about meeting in the middle.
“There is incredible talent on both sides of the border,” adds Elaine Reynolds, Imirt board member and CEO of Simteractive in Dublin, “Having these two game dev communities so close to each other, yet rarely actively interacting, is something that definitely needs to change.”
“Our two communities don’t get together nearly enough,” says Kevin Beimers of Northern Irish game development studio Italic Pig, and events coordinator for Games NI. “We know one another through social media and occasional visits, and tend to get together at worldwide events, but rarely do a Northern developers travel to Southern events, or vice versa. ”
Of course, the central location means that both sides need to travel to attend. Fortunately, an ideal supporter has stepped in to help. To open the border to higher attendance and as much cross-border collaboration as possible, the event will be receiving generous support from the Creative Europe Desks of both Ireland and UK, in the form of two 50-seater coaches, bringing eager developers to and from Belfast and Dublin city centres on the day of the event.
“The Creative Europe Desks Ireland and UK (Northern Ireland) are delighted to support Run for the Border,” adds Orla Clancy (Ireland) and Sophie Hayles (UK/NI). “Games companies North and South have successfully accessed the Creative Europe Video Games scheme, and we’re really pleased to be working together to enable a meet up that sees the sectors coming together. Particularly with the uncertainty around Brexit, it’s a pleasure to work with the spirit of creativity, cooperation and collaboration shown by GamesNI and Imirt.”
Run for the Border is primarily a social event but there will also be some talks and networking. The invitation boasts “a friendly event designed to meet new people, form cross-border collaborations, eat food, drink drink, listen to sage advice from local geniuses, play with each other’s toys… with a few surprises thrown in.” Tickets are selling fast so anyone interested in attending should move quickly.
Tickets for the event are available at:
Imirt Eventbrite (from Dublin): https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/run-for-the-border-2019-tickets-48132818556
Games NI Eventbrite (from Belfast): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/run-for-the-border-2019-tickets-524786500