The British Library has an extremely cool competition for full-time students in Britain. It’s called the Off The Map competition. This year the competition is using Shakespeare as its wellspring, in a nod to the British Library’s Shakespeare exhibition that begins April 15 and runs until September 2016. 

This is the fourth year of Off the Map.  The competition, in partnership with GameCity, “challenges full-time UK students in higher or further education to make videogames, digital explorable environments, or interactive fiction based on digitised British Library collection items.”

For this year’s contest, they’re asking for “entries inspired by either ‘The Tempest,’ castles, or forests that have been used as settings in Shakespeare’s plays.”

The British Library is holding two events aimed at students and teachers who want to participate. The first is tomorrow, and the next is in February.

Last year the competition was based on an early handwritten version of “Alice in Wonderland” taken from Lewis Carroll’s diaries. The winning entry was a beautiful game called The Wondering Lands of Alice. It was made by Off Our Rockers, a team from De Montfort University in Leicester.

British Library competition

Screenshot from The Wondering Lands of Alice

Each year Off the Map is organized by the Digital Research Team at the British Library, “a cross-disciplinary team supporting the creation and innovative use of British Library’s digital collections.” Besides producing Off the Map, the team works on getting content into digital form.

GameCity, the organization that partners with the library to produce Off the Map, operates the National Video Game Arcade, and organizes festivals and awards.

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Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda or her family foundation's website,