This Thursday, October 20, begins the 33rd edition of Amadora BD, a manifestation that brings together the best of comics from Portugal and abroad every year.. The event is internationally recognized and is already a stage where great writers and artists are present to showcase their latest works, in addition to lectures and signing autographs with their fans.
This year, for the first time in its history, Amadora BD will integrate the gaming area within the festival area, through a partnership with the promoter MagicShot. The goal is to create a number of initiatives that connect video games and comics, including cosplay, arcade machines, virtual reality, consoles, tournaments and presentations, among others.
SAPO TEK had the opportunity to talk with Catarina Valente, director of Amadora BD, about the reasons for this year’s integration of the gaming space into such a unique event in Portugal. “We are one of the most important events at the European level and we are very proud to be one of the main drivers of the development of comics in Portugal.“.
Therefore, he adds, its essence will remain, and comics will remain the protagonist of the Festival. “However, since we cannot ignore the evolution of the tastes and preferences of the general public, we believe that this is the moment to diversify our offer and introduce new areas of interest with an affinity for comics.”
In the gallery, see some of the Bsanda-desenhad exhibitions that will be in Amadora BD:
The goal is even to try to win a new and younger audience for Amadora BD, while at the same time trying to show “the relevance, relevance and topicality of the comic’s theme in Portuguese culture”. The event underwent several adjustments in this year’s edition, and the municipality of Amadora decided to decentralize the event, which now occupies three areas of the city: Ski Skate Amadora Park, Bedeteca da Amadora and the Artur Bual Municipal Gallery.
The ski park is still the main area and here the gaming event will be present with its various initiatives, trying to satisfy both the youngest and the general public who already regularly visit Amadora BD, says Catarina Valente. Not least because he believes there are many affinities between the two universes, including a shared audience for several years, “just look at the variety of video games based on comic books.” And he gives the example of Spider-Man, which this year will have a special emphasis at Amadora BD through an exhibition dedicated to 60 years of the Marvel character, “who has also been present in the video game universe for more than 40 years”.
“We are one of the most important events at the European level and we are very proud to be one of the main drivers of the development of comics in Portugal.”
Catarina Valente says that the universes complement each other, in an increasingly notorious way. “During the creative process, the author of the comics tries to reveal the personality traits and characteristics of his characters, through behaviors and attitudes that we often think could be reflected in “real life”.“. And he adds that when they enter the universe of video games, players are curious to know how they will react in certain situations and “we try to live in a more dynamic way of experience and fantasy that we already know from comics”.
On the other hand, he emphasizes that video games have already inspired the creation of various comics, as is the case with Assassin’s Creed, Cyberpunk 2077, Sonic or The Legend of Zelda, which led to new stories in BD.
Considering this year’s Spider-Man theme and the success of the video game adaptation by Insomniac Games, fans have been waiting for news on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Would Amadora BD be the stage, par excellence, to showcase news about this new game? “We are looking forward to finding out what we will have in the new Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. We would love to be able to provide exclusive news about this game, but as you know, these topics are always left to the publishers.“, says Catarina Valente, looking forward to the next gameplay trailer to find out the future of Peter Parker and Miles Morales.
MagicShot has recently been very active in organizing video game events, such as Rock in Rio, and events in Leiria and Aveiro, seeking to offer decentralized gaming events. “THE MagicShot has existed since 2004 promoting gaming in Portugal and has gone through several stages in its history: it started as a Counter-Strike team, developed into an online multiplayer community and after 2015, as a result of a deep and professionalizing restructuring, transformed itself into is today: a gaming solutions agency with the largest network of events and actions in Portugal”, Jamil Heneni, founder of MagicShot, explained to SAPO TEK.
The company’s goal continues to be to promote the subject of video games on a national level, “especially in places with more limited access, promoting technological inclusion for younger generations, but also general access to cutting edge entertainment, democratizing and demystifying prejudices and promoting this industry which is now bigger than the music and film industries combined“. For this purpose, MagicShot cooperates with municipalities, brands and festivals to create joint or isolated actions, from the smallest activations to the biggest festivals in the world.
For this first release of games on Amadora BD, The company has prepared experimental areas, such as the arena of high-end PCs for local or network games, consoles with the latest titles, virtual reality equipment, as well as arcade machines to recreate the halls of the 1980s.. Also, as mentioned, cosplay will be present at the event, as well as the presence of personalities from the digital to the real world, and even small competitions for the public to win gifts and souvenirs of the event.
Jamil Heneni highlights the “fantastic” feedback he has received, which is getting more and more, both in terms of expressing numbers that continue to grow, due to the diversity of the public that the company observes, “which includes entire families with grandparents explaining to their grandchildren how to play in arcades, who in turn explain how to play on a console or even in virtual realityor because of the great demand we have registered in all aspects, both from visitors and from the industry itself”.
MagicShot believes that video game content appeals to every type of person and has a very wide range of audiences. And in addition, his mission is to create the best possible entertainment appropriate and adapted to the target goals of his partners.
“Whole families with grandparents are explaining to their grandchildren how to play in arcades, and they in turn are explaining how to play on a console or even in virtual reality, either because of the high demand we have registered in all aspects, both from visitors and ourselves industry”.
As for the space allocated to Amadora BD this year, the Ski Skate Amadora Park, which remains the central core, has an area of 2,100 square meters., which includes an exhibition space of 950 square meters, where 10 exhibitions of domestic and foreign authors will be placed; the shopping area, which includes shows, autographs and other initiatives, covers 950 square meters; and gaming, which will occupy 200 square meters. Two floors of the city’s Gameria Artur Bual and the Bedeteca da Amadora space will also be occupied, in the Fernando Piteira Santos library, where the Mestre do Terror, Jayme Cortez exhibition will be installed.
The Amadora BD event starts today, the 20th and runs until the 30th of October. and the organization says it offers its visitors a free integrated circuit between the three exhibition spaces.