Rapture Gaming Festival 2021 — everything you need to know

Where once a niche marketplace associated with heavy desktop PCs and dark basements, gaming is now more mainstream and popular than ever. The global games market was worth approximately $152 billion in 2019 with experts predicting it will be worth close to £196 billion in 2022.

Games are being played almost everywhere you look; at home on desktops and consoles, while on the go from mobile tablets and smartphones and at friends’ houses. And now, gaming events and competitions are taking them into public spaces and private events venues. Gamers are meeting up from all walks of life, around the globe, to share their love of gaming and compete in tournaments — many of which come with big prizes, and of course, bragging rights for the winners of them. 

But why has it grown?

These large-scale gaming events have grown in popularity due, in large part, to the increase in online video games, which has seen many more people become involved in gaming than ever before. Being able to play your favourite games online is accessible and convenient; and multiplayer options have encouraged more gameplay between friends and family — and even strangers — from around the world. 

Another big influence on the amount of people getting into gaming has been the online casino industry. Casinos, like many industries, have had to adjust to the digital space. This has seen many casinos operating online versions of what they have in their land-based offerings; and others opening up to be entirely online. For those who have been fans of land-based casinos, there’s definitely an attraction to the online alternatives. The convenience of being able to play your favourite casino games, day and night, from the comfort of your sofa, or on your commute, has made casino games more popular. Another popular element is the amount of bonuses and promotions that are on offer online. Many providers entice players to play games before depositing their own money, like online slots providers, an online casino game that has grown increasingly popular in recent years. The advancements in technology has also meant that online casino games are incredibly fun and immersive experiences; some have even been able to replicate exactly what you’d get at a land-based casino with video options like live poker. 

Then there’s the exciting new games being released from consoles. The hype around franchise games like Red Dead Redemption, Animal Crossing and Pokemon get more and more people into gaming simply by the excitement of fans; as well as the incredible marketing campaigns they put in place to drive interest from consumers. 

A year of cancellations — and Rapture Festival 2021

2020 has certainly been a year for cancellations — especially in the live events industry. While many gaming events have still been able to take place online, due to the nature of the platform, fans and gamers have missed out on some of the top gaming events of the year. But many are starting to be placed in the 2021 calendar with the hope that the pandemic will have lessened over the course of the first few months of the year so that festivals can take place. 

One of these is the Medway Rapture Gaming and Creative Festival due to take place in March 2021. This event is set to be held at The Historic Dockyard Chatham over the course of 2 days; Saturday 6th of March and Sunday 7th March 2021. The festival is divided into three parts: Medway Rapture which will be the traditional gaming event for hardcore and novice gamers alike. Then there is Medway Creative which is described as a creative science, arts, engineering, tech and videogames event; and Medway E-Sports, an industry that has grown increasingly popular where gamers will battle it out in live virtual sporting events. 

The festival is expected to bring visitors including gamers and creatives from across the country and attract people of all ages including children, family and students. The Medway Council is hoping that the festival will help strengthen the city’s application for the UK City of Culture in 2025. The festival will not only attract a number of tourists to Medway across the weekend meaning a boost to the local economy, but it will also represent Medway as a gaming cultural community. 

As well as interactive exhibitions, the festival will also host guest speaker talks and workshops for individuals interested in learning more about digital industry and gaming. Other exciting offerings include virtual reality experiences, cosplay, a Retro Zone, a Battle Royale zone, Nerf War Arena, tabletop gaming, a competitive arena, a merch market and lots more to enjoy. Tickets will cost £15 for a single day and £28 for the weekend; there are also special offers available for groups with more information to be announced as the date gets closer. 

Looking forward

Should the Rapture Festival go ahead, it will be another success story for large-scale gaming festivals. It’s likely that as more people get into gaming, these types of festivals and gaming competitions will continue to crop up all around the world and attract visitors from all around. It will be exciting to see what gaming festival experiences like Rapture Festival will crop up next. And while no one can yet predict what 2021 will hold, the gaming world is rife with fascinating and entertaining online experiences that are being enjoyed by people of all ages. 









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