Dau Barcelona: Twelve Years of Gaming and Culture at Fabra i Coats

26/10/2023 - 13:45 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The Sant Andreu venue becomes the epicentre of a gathering dedicated to the world of games, ranging from traditional to modern.

Joy, fun, social interaction – all of these elements are inseparable from the act of playing, an essential practice in personal development with strong social ties, deeply connected to the realm of culture. Come and experience it for yourself, have a great time playing at the Dau Barcelona Game Festival, taking place on November 18 and 19.

The festival organises activities throughout the year that span across schools, libraries, community centres, spaces for the elderly, and various streets and squares, encouraging people to build connections through board games. As we mentioned earlier, it’s an ongoing initiative, supported by the Barcelona Institute of Culture, reaching its peak in November with a grand festival inviting the public to discover games from the past and the present and to enjoy them in the company of other visitors.

This marks the twelfth edition of a festival seeking to explore “the cultural richness hidden within the world of games.” It offers you an “opportunity to connect with fellow enthusiasts of the playful world”. It invites you to “enjoy Barcelona as an international hub for gaming and culture,” as festival curator Oriol Crespo explains. The festival’s promotional imagery was created by artist Natàlia Romero, a conceptual creator experienced in both video games and board games (in the photograph).

It all starts with an awards gala on the evening of November 17 at Sant Andreu Theatre, where various awards will be presented, including recognition for a prominent figure in the gaming world, the best author of the year, the best emerging author of the year, and the best illustrator of the year. As in each edition, the Salón del Prestigio (Prestige Hall) of Dau Barcelona, consisting of individuals who have excelled in-game promotion, study, or creation, will host a new historical figure of prominence. If you wish to witness the Dau Barcelona 2023 Awards Gala, don’t hesitate to visit the Dau Barcelona website and follow the live stream.

Dau Barcelona is divided into sections. Under the Gran Dau section, you will find classic and modern games, with demonstrators eager to teach you how to play. All you need to do is sit down and enjoy the experience.

This, as well as the championships taking place at Fabra i Coats on November 18 and 19, will occur during the day, but what if you want to play during the night? If you come to Dau de Nit (Dau at Night), bring your favourite games, head to the third floor of Fabra i Coats (Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18, from 10 PM to 6 AM), and you’ll find a space where you can play endlessly until daybreak.

In addition to the central spaces, you’ll also find activities at the nearby Ateneu l’Harmonia, offering new prototype games and activities for children. There’s El Dauet at the Can Fabra School. Right there, at the Institut Martí Pous, you’ll discover spaces dedicated to those already experienced in board games (Dau Expert), as well as historical recreations involving political, military, or economic history games. It’s Dau Històric, which you can follow at the mentioned institute on Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19, from 10 AM to 8 PM.

Perhaps you prefer the traditional games of yore… If that’s the case, come to the courtyard of the Can Fabra School and the Vapor del Fil Institute, on Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19, from 10 AM to 6 PM. Here, you can experience activities like lifting pitchers, spinning tops, playing Skittles, or trying out various game variants that you may not have encountered yet. This is the Dau Tradicional section. Sections dedicated to role-playing games (Dau de Rol) or the authors of your favourite games (Dau dels Autors) are also part of this essential event for meeting people while having a blast.

Remember, finally, that this November, city community centres will host activities related to the festival, offering open game spaces suitable for all ages, under the name Dau als Barris. With the name Dau a l’Escola, they also provide a comprehensive program to educational institutions across the city, covering everything from ancient entertainment to games with mathematical elements.

Even if you think you’re not a board game enthusiast, you should still visit Fabra i Coats because, as the festival’s organizers put it, “there’s always an activity for everyone, regardless of their interests.” They couldn’t make it any easier!

Take advantage of the Dau Barcelona festival. However, before attending, make sure to check the complete programme of activities on the festival’s website.

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