Whilst Britain’s music scene rocked to the sound of Reading and Leeds throughout late August, for gamers; the attention was all on Insomnia 58.


Multiplay’s leading-edge gaming festival; now in its 17th year, overran the Birmingham NEC for four unforgettable days that packed together a combination of the best gaming talents, technologies and faces all into one venue.


Some of the biggest brands in gaming were on show throughout the weekend to exhibit their latest releases and masterpieces. Included amongst the many famous promoters and developers were gaming giants Microsoft and Sony.


Whilst the former showed off their new smaller quieter Xbox One S and helped to promote a fresh look FIFA 17, the battle of the heavyweights was blown out of the water by Sony’s VR presence. Throughout the weekend Sony showcased their Playstation VR allowing gamers to fully immerse themselves into the future of gaming.


Insomnia’s line up of special guests demonstrated just how far the festival has progressed and developed over time. Fans turned up in their thousands across the weekend to attend meet-and-greets with Tom (Syndicate) and The Yogscast; whilst many other streamers could be seen constantly posing for pictures and signing autographs.


Trying to put into perspective just how much the current generation adores YouTube stars and personalities is difficult. Whilst it’s easy to get lost in the numbers of YouTube subscriber counts and video views, Insomnia brought those figures much closer to home.


LDShadowLady, a YouTuber with over 2.4 million subscribers, spoke about how insomnia creates a safe place for people to meet up from online communities in the real world.


Over the course of the weekend Insomnia clearly established that it’s more than just a platform for developers to show off their new software and tech. Behind the robot battling arenas and main stage events, i58 becomes a place for gamers to interact and build communities.


Multiplay’s events director Andy Smith spoke about the kind of atmosphere that is being built at Insomnia:


“Insomnia is all about trying to create a holistic experience. Attending the festival is not just about making a purchase on a shelf but about making each customer a part of something bigger.


“We are trying to create the most immersive but safe place for gaming communities to gather. At each new event, we are striving to make the festival bigger and better than the one previous”


In truth, what Multiplay have created is a perfect balance between both the marketing and social side to the gaming community. Insomnia has something for everyone. Whether you want to check out the newest games on the high street, meet your YouTube idols or hang out and play some League of Legends at League fest, it has you covered.


From Team Fortress 2 to Overwatch there’s a fantastic display of eSports on show. Or, if you just want to bring down your computer and play Hearthstone for the entire weekend, then Multiplay have invested the time and resources into making that possible as well.


i59 takes place from the 9th to the 11th of December at the NEC in Birmingham and although Newcastle to Birmingham is quite a distance, we think it’ll certainly be worth worth the journey.

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Jared Moore
Joint Editor-In-Chief at Quillstreak. Freelance Journalist studying at Newcastle University. Enjoys long romantic walks across the Mojave Wasteland followed by dinner with the Baker household. Once swiped right and killed a king.

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