BIG Festival (Brazil’s Independent Games Festival) – June 23 to July 1, 2018

BIG Festival (Brazil’s Independent Games Festival), the largest independent games festival in Latin America, gathering key constituents from the International video game industry, today announced the major keynotes and panels for its 2018 program, taking place at Centro Cultural São Paulo, Brazil from June 23 to July 1. For its 6th forthcoming signature edition, BIG Festival 2018 is introducing for the first time an exclusive and deep foray into the evolution of virtual reality and serious games, providing insights into their influence in today’s modern society and how they are shaping the future of nations and communities.

With the objective to be recognized as a leading international game festival, BIG Festival 2018 is setting a higher bar this year, delivering an impressive calendar of more than 120 keynotes, with themes spanning from the integration of cultural references into indie video games, the fast adoption rate of virtual reality technology to our everyday life and its applications, to the impact of social games transforming our society by discussing real examples illustrated with topics such as sexuality, bullism, coming of age or education. The complete schedule can be reviewed here.

BIG Festival 2018 is shaping up to beat every prior attendance records, anticipating a total of more  20,000 visitors, by boasting an award competition offering over $24,000 in prizes and showcasing panels whose guests are composed of an influential international industry roster. Confirmed panelists and moderators include David Martinez (Raw Fury, Co-Founder), Steve Escalante (Versus Evil, general manager), Sandro Manfredini, (Aquiris, Partner – Business Director) , Nando Guimaraes (Cat Nigiri, CEO), Bill Le Voir-Barry (CTO for IBM Esports), Chris Remo (Firewatch Game Designer, Composer, Writer), Samir El Agili (Tilting Point, COO), Reginaldo Valadares (Rovio, Head of Studio), Falko Bocker (Flaregames, Senior Developer Relations Manager), Sebastian Badylak (Coffee Stain Publishing, VR Fanatic), Paul Hanraets (Good Shepherd Entertainment, co-founder), Jason Della Rocca (Execution Labs, Co-Founder). Additional significant international speakers will be announced as part of the line-up in the near future as the festival unfolds its content and list of exhibited games. List of confirmed guests and speakers is being updated on weekly basis here. Stay tuned!

BIG Festival 2018 attendants can look forward to be treated to edgy and inspirational keynotes, such as the case study for serious game VilDu, from Dutch developer Lapp, discussing how a game can lower the boundaries to talk about sexual abuse and describing how a rather personal design experience led to the creation of a playful tool used for therapy purposes. Another highly anticipated panel will explore today’s and tomorrow’s virtual reality applications outside of gaming and utilized in the fields of medicine, education and movies. Other notable presentations are set to examine the different ways a particular culture can permeate a game and its components (mechanics, music, graphics, story) and ultimately how this can create a connection between the game and its global audience; as well as a spotlight on how to develop and self-publish online competitive indie games in LATAM.

A comprehensive schedule of BIG Festival 2018 panels, keynotes and fireside chats can be found here It is important to underline, that due to the international nature of the event, all talks are being translated real-time in English and Portuguese for the audience and transcripts available upon requests.

About BIG Festival

BIG Festival (Brazil’s Independent Games Festival) has been held since 2012 and is considered one the most influential and innovative  independent gaming festival in Latin America. With the mission to strengthen the Brazilian video game ecosystem, the event produces a yearly international independent video game award competition offering significant cash prizes ($24,000 in 2018), a major exhibition showcasing hundreds of games including the awards nominees, a spectacular awards ceremony event, industry related lectures and business rounds. In 2017, BIG hosted more than 20,000 visitors, 3,500 of them having participated to lectures, and more than 1600 guests attending business meetings. This year BIG will expand its schedule of lectures and workshops by  incorporating new topics and areas that are part of games development cycles, such as music, animation, virtual and augmented reality, a career center, among others segments already present at the event.