About the project
Art Games – an international game jam network

Game developers, programmers, artists and creatives from all over the world come together at ART GAMES to develop computer games in so-called game jams. The idea is that the diversity of the participants will inspire them to renegotiate the boundaries between art, politics and games, and to reflect on the conditions and conditionedness of their own medium, still a desideratum on the global games market.

The market for commercial computer games is growing steadily. The turnover of the gaming industry has long equalled that of the film industry. The location Germany stands for an innovative games scene. In addition to the big AAA productions, a vital independent market has developed here as in many other countries. The touring exhibition Games and Politics, initiated in the autumn of 2016 by the Goethe-Institut and realized in cooperation with the ZKM Karlsruhe, takes up a section of this creative economy that is initially independent of the market. It presents computer games that critically examine the consequences of globalization and allow the players to adopt new, often marginalized points of view.

The exhibition serves as a starting-point for the Federal Foreign Office funded project ART GAMES: at eight stations of the exhibition across the world, games are developed within 48 hours that go beyond the demands of the mainstream. Participants are supervised by local partners and by Maschinen-Mensch, an award-winning indie game developing studio in Berlin. All the games created are presented on this website.

The first game jam took place at the end of November 2016 in Mexico City at the Centro de Cultura Digital; the second was held in early 2017 at the Nam June Paik Art Centre in Seoul. Further stations included Boston, Novosibirsk, São Paulo and Jakarta. In 2018 Athens and Bangkok will follow.

After each game jam, a jury selects the best idea and provides the team with a mentor for the following months. The winning games be presented in Germany in mid-2018, where representatives of the project teams will have the opportunity to get to know experts in the indie scene in Germany and from around the world and to establish networks.

ART GAMES is a project of the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with Maschinen-Mensch and is sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office.


  Maschinen Mensch

Maschinen-Mensch is a German independent game studio of former AAA developers that left the mainstream industry to experiment with new forms of generative storytelling and create innovative games that aim at unattended niches in gaming. The studios debut-title The Curious Expedition, a game about fictitious expeditions set in the 19th century, was released in 2015 on Steam Early Access and won the German Developer award for “Best Indie Game 2015”. The founders: Johannes Kristmann spent more than 8 years in the AAA-Industry and worked on “SpecOps: The Line” or Dead Island 2 as an Artist, Leveldesigner and Gamedesigner. In 2014 he decided to leave the mainstream business and co-founded the Berlin based independent games studio Maschinen-Mensch, to work on unconventional games far off the mainstream mold. Riad Djemili is the co-founder of Maschinen-Mensch. Riad started working in the game industry in 2005 and worked for seven years at Berlin game company YAGER, where he among other titles worked on the critically acclaimed game Spec Ops: The Line.