Insomnia 61: The UK’s Biggest Gaming Festival

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student. 

For almost 20 years now Multiplay has been hosting what they claim to be “the UK’s biggest gaming festival”. From its humble beginnings in a small office in Swindon with a few hundred people, it is now filling out the UK’s largest exhibition centre, the Birmingham NEC. Insomnia started primarily as a LAN event for people to bring their own computers to compete in tournaments to win prize money. Since then it has grown to a massive exhibition full of upcoming games, stage events featuring popular YouTube personalities, a showcase of small indie titles, retro games, tabletop games, lots of evening events, and the list goes on and on – there’s even a live robot wars tournament!

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Brilliant inventions that shaped our world

Did you know that the first person to talk about ‘de-bugging’ a computer was Admiral Grace Hopper in the 1940s? Admiral Hopper was a pioneer of computer programming, and worked on Harvard’s Mark I computer, a five-ton, room-size machine. She used the term ‘de-bugging’ in a very literal way when she had to remove a moth from the machine. Hopper’s commitment to the idea of machine-independent programming languages led to the development of COBOL, an early programming language which is still in use today.

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