Parallel Worlds – a new videogame design conference

Design, Architecture and Digital Department
September 27, 2016
Parallel Worlds Poster
Poster Artwork by Sophia Foster-Dimino

How do the virtual worlds of videogames reflect and augment our reality?

With VR headsets hitting the high street and augmented reality sending players hunting through their neighbourhoods 2016 has seen our virtual and physical worlds collide like never before.

But what does it mean to design a virtual world? Come join us on Friday 25 November 2016 as we hear from leading designers, artists and thinkers whose work explores the ways in which videogames reflect and augment our reality.

Parallel Worlds is the V&A’s first conference dedicated to the design and culture of videogames and provides a brand new critical platform to discuss one of the most important design fields of our time.

This inaugural event will continue into the evening with a Parallel Worlds themed Friday Late where your reality will be further distorted with a host of arcades, workshops and demonstrations across the Museum.

Friday 25 November 2016, 10:30am – 5:30pm
Book Online – £35 (full price), £30 (concession), £15 (student)



10:30 – 11:00 Registration

11:00 – 12:35 Session 1 – Brave New Worlds
Simon Parkin (Author and Journalist)
Kareem Ettouney (Media Molecule)
Pol Clarissou and Héloïse Lozano (Klondike)

12:35 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 14:40 Session 2 – Playing With History
Holly Nielsen – Session Chair
Simon Mann (Creative Assembly)
Meg Jayanth (Writer and Game Maker)

14:40 – 15:50 Session 3 – The Realities of Virtual Reality
Kristian Volsing – Session Chair
Laura Dilloway (Guerrilla Games)
Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn (Tale of Tales)

15:50 Break

16:15 – 17:30 Session 4 – Augmenting Reality
Marie Foulston – Session Chair
Holly Gramazio (Matheson Marcault)
Keiichi Matsuda (Critical Design)

17:30 Close

Book Online – £35 (full price), £30 (concession), £15 (student)



Laura DillowayLaura Dilloway – Guerrilla Games
Laura has been working as an environment artist in the games industry for over 10 years. She is currently a Senior Artist on the ground breaking RIGS Mechanized Combat League (Guerrilla Games) for the new PlayStation VR, heralded by some as a ‘game that could never be made’.


Meg JayanthMeg Jayanth – Freelance Writer & Game-Maker
Meg Jayanth is a Writers’ Guild of Great Britain award-winning game-maker and writer. She was lead writer on inkle Studios 80 Days – nominated for four BAFTAs (including Best Story) which was named TIME’s Game of 2014.


Tale of TalesAuriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn – Tale of Tales
Tale of Tales are a studio known for controversial and innovative projects that push what videogames can be. Their current work focusses on VR, the synthetic image, and artistic uses of technology with a new project called Cathedral-in-the-Clouds.


Keiichi MatsudaKeiichi Matsuda – Critical Design
Keiichi Matsuda is a future-facing designer and film-maker who focusses on the dissolving boundaries between virtual and physical. His recent work includes the acclaimed 2016 concept film Hyper-Reality.


Simon MannSimon Mann – Creative Assembly
Simon Mann is a historical gameplay designer on Creative Assembly’s Total War, a multi-award winning PC strategy game series that has covered Edo period Japan, Medieval Europe and Ancient Rome. Before joining Creative Assembly in 2013 Simon worked at a number of studios including Zoë Mode- London, Lionhead, Rebellion, Criterion Games and Crytek.


Holly GramazioHolly Gramazio – Matheson Marcault
Holly Gramazio is half of Matheson Marcault, a company that uses game design to engage people with places and ideas. Matheson Marcault runs Now Play This, a games festival at Somerset House in London, and makes research-based and site-specific games.


Pol ClarissouPol Clarissou – Klondike
Pol Clarissou is a developer and artist who likes to experiment with games as a medium, and play with the tools and processes of digital arts. Even the Stars and Orchids to Dusk are the biggest amongst the many shortform game-like experiences he’s released, while also toying around with weird hardware, tiny zines, or whatever grabs his fancy.


Heloise Lozano

Héloïse Lozano – Klondike
Héloïse Lozano is a game artist and illustrator who loves to play around with the videogame medium to share reflections, little joys and fears, or even just peaceful moments via alternative worlds and installations. She is a member of the Klondike collective, and is currently working as a 3D artist in a videogame company.


Kareem EttouneyKareem Ettouney – Media Molecule
Kareem Ettouney is Art Director at Media Molecule. Egyptian by birth, his work displays exotic cultural influences which make it truly distinctive. The breadth and scope of Kareem’s work reflects his diverse background in interior, graphic, theatre and film set design. Kareem is absolutely instrumental in the iconic looks of Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet franchise and the upcoming Dreams for PlayStation®4.


Simon Parkin

Simon Parkin – Author and Journalist
Simon Parkin is a British author and journalist. He is a contributing writer for the New, and has written about the art and business of game for the Guardian, New Statesman and many others. Parkin’s book, “Death by Video Game” is a New York Times Book Review editors’ recommended read, described as “weighty, often serious — and very, very good.”


Holly NielsenHolly Neilsen – Historical Researcher and Journalist
Holly Nielsen is a historical researcher and journalist that specialises in video games. Some of the places she has written for include; The Guardian, The Telegraph, International Business Times and Vice. As well as regularly reviewing games for Sky News. Holly also works as a guest lecturer, speaking to both history students and game developers and has given lectures at King’s College London and the National Film and Television School


Marie FoulstonMarie Foulston – Curator of Videogames for the V&A
Marie Foulston is the V&A’s Curator of Videogames and is currently working with the museum to establish new ways of collecting and exhibiting videogame design and culture. Before her time at the V&A she worked as a curator specialising in independent videogame design and playful interactive experiences with the collective The Wild Rumpus, collaborating with partners that included Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy), the EMP Museum (Seattle) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto).


Kristian VolsingKristian Volsing – Research Curator, Videogames for the V&A
Kristian Volsing is a Curator in the Design Architecture and Digital department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, currently researching the design and culture of contemporary videogames for a forthcoming major exhibition. Previous projects have included the Civic Objects strand of the museum’s 2015 exhibition All of This Belongs to You; T-Shirts 101, a display on the history of the T-Shirt for the Fashion and Textiles gallery and Rapid Response Collecting, an ever-changing gallery that explores the intersections between contemporary design, mass manufacture and global events.


Book Online – £35 (full price), £30 (concession), £15 (student)

13 comments so far, view or add yours


Hello! I’m confused where to book the ticket. I’m clicking on the link but it sends me here I can’t find it on the website. Could you send me a working link, please? Thank you.

I’ve just double checked the links above and they seem to be working okay for myself. If you’re still having issues though you can reach tickets by visiting the V&A home page ( selecting ‘whats on’ from the top menu and then on the calendar which appears on the right hand side of the screen select ‘November 25th’ if you scroll down the page for that days events you can find a link to conference tickets about three quarters of the way down. Hope this helps.

Really enjoyed the conference on Friday – a great line up of speakers and topics. I understand it was being recorded – are there plans to make this available at some point?

Parallel Worlds is the V&A’s first conference dedicated to the design and culture of videogames and provides a brand new critical platform to discuss one of the most important design fields of our time.

It is good to know that parallel worlds a new video game would do fab because of this design it is looking cool.

Now Play This, a games festival at Somerset House in London, and makes research-based and site-specific games.

É bom saber que os mundos paralelos que um novo videogame faria fab por causa desse design é legal.

Confira os presentes eu amo filmes criativos da Zazzle – Encontre diversas ideias que irão facilitar a sua escolha. Impressione com um presente eu amo filmes …

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