Seoul: TWO can play that game: the second Game Jam in Seoul

After its start in Mexico City, ART GAMES moved to the other side of the globe: the second Game Jam in the series took place from 20 to 22 January 2017 at the Nam June Paik Art Centre (NJPAC) in Seoul/Yongin. A total of 31 highly-motivated participants foregathered to design political, artistic games within a space of 48 hours. As always in the selection of participants, attention was given to diversity, so that there was an exciting mix of various backgrounds, ages and levels of experience in game development. Game designers met film directors, artists met programmers. One very positive feature was that almost half of those present were women.

Following the presentation of the jury by video message, the artists and game developers Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn (tale of tales) delivered a critical and inspiring keynote address: “If you really want to share the things you feel strongly about, offer them to your audience for interrogation”. Then the Director of the Art Centre, Suh Jin-suk, revealed the previously secret theme of the Game Jam: utopia. Surrounded by the works of Nam June Paik, the art gamers were in a perfect place to go about their task: Paik was one of the first artists to experiment with modern communication media and to grasp the dangers as well as the social potential of the digital realm.

Already on the first night former strangers teamed up in various constellations to work together on their ideas, foregoing many hours of sleep. Their zeal continued up to the closing ceremony on Sunday evening. From 11 realized projects (including even board games), the local jury, consisting of Riad Djemili (Maschinen-Mensch), Jinsuk Suh (Nam June Paik Art Centre) and Arndt Röskens (Goethe-Institut Korea), chose Sunshine, Flower Gear and 2948 Little Brother. The jury in German in turn chose Sunshine for the mentoring programme. As in Mexico City, two representatives of the team will be invited to present their game in Germany.