For those of you that don’t know us already (I’m sure that covers most of Brighton), The Fight Lab is a local organisation that runs video games culture events. We started 3 years ago with an event called Arcade (not) Disco at Green Door Store. Since then we’ve been actively building and shaping a games community in Brighton, always keeping in mind our unique view of what it means to participate in and spectate at a video games event of any kind. We believe that competitive video games events are a wholly social experience; that they are an experience of great value both to a spectator and participant; that everyone should experience this together, in a shared physical environment.
Brighton Digital Festival has offered us the opportunity to raise our own game and explore creatively the spaces for and production of our events. In 2012 we were invited to put on a 1 day installation of a fighting game tournament on the arcade cabinets that formed a central part of David Blandy‘s month long Odysseys installation at Phoenix. Fated Dual (we know it’s not the correct spelling) brought together the veterans of the fighting game scene with the unordained in the Phoenix gallery. It was a special experience both for the stalwarts who were there from start to finish as well as those dropping in to see what it was about. We also helped to close Brighton Digital Festival 2012 with a games party in the Pit space at the Basement. Our crowds were so raucously involved they were told to be quiet!
In 2013 we applied for Grassroots funding from the Brighton Digital Festival. Lo and behold we were successful and this allowed us to really begin thinking about producing the kind of events that represent our values. Shiroi Sphere ホワイト球 was Brighton’s first (I could be wrong about this) open air Street Fighter tournament. Our purpose built stages held the competitors in 2 gigantic white towers with live projections and visuals thrown back onto the towers for spectators to see. This event was made possible by the money we received from Brighton Digital Festival and successfully captured the imaginations of those in attendance.
This year we applied for Grassroots funding for the second time, and for the second time we’ve been successful! This has allowed us to build on the work we did last year and we are returning to Phoenix and bringing Kuroi Cube 黒い 立方体 to Brighton Digital Festival 2014. What lurks inside the Kuroi Cube 黒い 立方体 hasn’t been revealed, so I urge you to be there this Saturday 20 September from 5pm at Phoenix. There were certain elements we were unable to realise on our budget last year that have been resurrected for this year’s Festival. It’s going to be an eye-opening experience for all, we sincerely hope everyone who doesn’t know about us already (the whole of Brighton) can make it.
We are extremely grateful to Brighton Digital Festival, for existing and giving us the space to produce new and exciting events as well as providing funding to realise the vision we have for these events. We’re already looking forward to next year.
Read more about The Fight Lab’s regular events “I am Arcade” at Vice.com
by Robby Gee, Co-Founder of The Fight Lab.