THE UK’s largest gaming festival is taking place in the Capital for the first time.
Insomnia will see thousands of enthusiasts converge on the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) today until Monday, with visitors able to bring their own PCs, consoles and monitors as part of an arrangement aimed at maximising participation.
Some of YouTube’s biggest gaming stars will take part in a series of stage shows and panel talks, organisers said.
And there will be an exhibition hall featuring the latest products, exclusive merchandise, retro gaming and electronic sports tournaments.
Craig Fletcher, founder and chief executive of organisers Multiplay, said: “This is the first Insomnia Gaming Scotland and we are delighted to be in Edinburgh at the EICC.
“Insomnia Scotland is about people coming together, catching up with friends and celebrating the one thing they have in common – video games.
“We look to bring a unique blend of a show to Scotland, as well as generating a real community of gamers who can meet with each other for the same purpose – to celebrate gaming.”
He added: “This is the first Insomnia Scotland taking place.
“Once we have built a strong gaming community, we look to expand the event to those similar of our Insomnia Gaming Festival series in Birmingham, which attracts around 40,000 people. Overall we’re really excited to see how Insomnia Scotland grows in the region.”
The EICC was chosen to host the event thanks to the venue’s high network speeds.
Infrastructure providers said the centre’s digital connections had been “supercharged” for the festival.
Andy Arkle, commercial director at Commsworld, which has provided the ultra-fast service, said: “In effect we have been able to temporarily ramp up the already substantial bandwidth, a practical option for the likes of EICC, who would have normally had to stretch to expensive annual contracts in order to have access to such ultra fast network speeds.
“High speeds are essential for online gaming – where you need as fast a response time as you can get.”
City leaders have welcomed the event’s arrival in Edinburgh.
Councillor Richard Lewis, festivals and events champion, said: “Edinburgh boasts a vibrant array of festivals throughout the year, and we’re pleased to welcome Insomnia to the EICC. Video gaming is an extremely successful and popular pursuit, and I’m glad some of its fans will be able to enjoy this celebration in the Capital.”