A survivor's guide to Insomnia Scotland

All you need to know about the upcoming gaming festival

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A survivor's guide to Insomnia Scotland

Later this month the EICC plays host to Scotland's first ever Insomnia Gaming Festival. It's a chance for PC and console players to gather under one roof and indulge in their shared hobby, with interactive stage shows, e-sports tournaments, panel talks and more. So what exactly can you do over the weekend?

You can take your own computer or console
Insomnia's roots can be traced back to 1997 when it was primarily a LAN (local area network) party. A LAN party is a gathering where gamers take their own PCs, plug them into the network and battle other players in the same room. Gamers will need to be self-sufficient with their own monitor, keyboard, headset, mouse, etc.

There's a Minecraft zone
Even after half a decade and a ludicrously pricey takeover by Microsoft, Minecraft shows no signs of slowing down. You can celebrate its cuboid joys with tournaments, custom games and interviews with special guests. And perhaps you'll be able to spot the next Minecraft at the dedicated Indie Zone.

Classic games will be on show
Retro gaming is big business. As well as the chance to try out some brand new titles, Insomnia features a retro zone with playable 8-bit classics.

You could win cash prizes
Players who take their own computers or consoles have the opportunity to register for tournaments in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, Rocket League, StarCraft II, Street Fighter V and FIFA 16. Prize money depends on the number of participants, with a potential jackpot in CS:GO and LoL of £3,750 each (split between five players per game).

Comedian John Robertson will perform interactive videogame The Dark Room
In 2011, Australian comedian John Robertson created interactive web game The Dark Room. He's since converted it into a live show which is part improvised comedy, part theatre. There are a limited number of tickets on sale for this unique experience.

You don't ever have to leave during the whole weekend
With cosplay competition and zones dedicated to merchandise and tabletop gaming, it'll be difficult to leave at night. Luckily there are limited spaces for indoor camping at a nearby school. You don't need to use a tent (if you do, it must be weighted) - just a mattress and sleeping bag will do.

Insomnia Gaming, EICC Edinburgh, Fri 29 Apr–Mon 2 May.

Insomnia Gaming Festival

Computer gaming event featuring play areas, trade stalls, talks, discussions and music.

NEC, Birmingham

Sat 10 Dec

Times & prices to be confirmed / 0845 868 1337

Sun 11 Dec

Times & prices to be confirmed / 0845 868 1337

Mon 12 Dec

Times & prices to be confirmed / 0845 868 1337

John Robertson: The Dark Room

An interactive video game courtesy of the cult stand-up.

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