October 2nd will see London swarming with gamers as the week-long London Games Festival 2006 kicks off.

The festival includes events, previews, and hands-on gaming at a variety of venues, including HMV Oxford Circus, John Lewis Oxford Street, and other locations.

Of special note is the Lizards’ Lair, where you can pitch your games idea 150 people including publishers and developers. Panelists will include Ian Livingstone, the creative director of Eidos, and Paul Durrant, the director of Dar to be Digital.

A Cinema Showdown will be held at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square on 7th October, where you can play up to 400 fellow gamers on the big screen if you get manage to bag the free tickets. HMV Oxford Street will host a Tournament Stage, where customers can play new and future releases against fellow gamers, and where different challenges and giveaways will be going on all week.

John Lewis will place games pods and consoles throughout the store so that the whole family can get involved, while the London Game Career Fair at Café Royal on the 3rd and 4th gives budding professional gamers the chance to see what careers are available to them.

Like any good festival, it also has a Fringe element that will involve performances, exhibitions, master classes, and seminars. These events include JumpStart, which is a one day game concept design workshop where you’ll work together with a team to come up with original content for a new game.

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