Players gather to celebrate the music, the passion of their favourite games
Gaming is often viewed as a solitary pursuit, the preserve of lonely nerds in bedrooms. Yet the social aspect often remains hidden, despite the millions chatting, competing and cooperating every second of the day.
Gamers do gather in real life and Ireland's growing festival scene draws keen players together for social networking and a lot of craic. The scene got a shot in the arm last year from the launch of Dublin's iDig Music Fest. Featuring talks from a host of world-renowned gaming talent and including our own Eímear Noone (left) with her energetic conducting of videogame soundtracks, iDig Music returns for 2016 with another stellar line-up.
The festival runs from April 29 to May 1 at the RDS and Convention Centre, opening with a series of seminars, exhibitions and presentations by the likes of Blizzard's Russell Brower and Grammy winner Chris Yin. It culminates in the Video Games Live concert, an orchestral romp through the history of game music, with Noone as the ringmaster.
Tickets cost from €85 for the three days. For more, see www.idigmusicfest.com.
Further afield, the new Insomnia Gaming Ireland event takes over the INEC in Killarney from June 10 to 13. An offshoot of a series running around the UK, Insomnia hosts a bring-your-own-computer tournament for up to 250 players in popular titles such as CS: GO and Rocket League.
The main exhibition hall includes dozens of upcoming titles and appearances from rising Irish YouTubers such as AshDubh and Amy Lee.
See insomniagamingfestival.com/ireland for more details. Tickets range from €12 to €99.