28 August 2019 Games And Politics

Exhibition, Live Playthroughs, Screenings, Discussions

Games and Politics is a series of events by the Goethe-Institut Cyprus, which deals with the role and relevance of games and gaming in society. It comprises an interactive exhibition of 18 computer games and three documentaries addressing current social issues. Furthermore, three different film screenings will shed light on various aspects of gaming while at "playthrough" evenings, the audience will have the possibility, to discuss with Cypriot and German experts about the game being played live.

A game is always more than just a game. Without considering the influence of the society that plays it, it remains just as impossible to understand as without considering its influence on that society. Like other media, computer games permit themselves to be harnessed by the political interests of any faction. Game designers are turning toward new themes and target audiences. Artists are using the medium in order to open its functions up to scrutiny and to explore where the boundary of games now lie. And the big museums are discovering computer games as cultural property, which is meant to be collected and preserved. Reflections on the phenomenon of computer games from the perspective of cultural sciences, however, continue to be few and far between in the discourse of art institutions.

The Goethe-Institute´s exhibition Games and Politics is intended to close this gap, at least in part. Games and Politics was produced in 2016 and is based on the exhibition Global Games by the ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medien) in Karlsruhe, Germany. The exhibition curators selected politically ambitious computer games, created between 2004 and 2016, and which explore the limits and possibilities of the genre. Computer games conceive of themselves not merely as a (re-) presentation of social conditions and conflicts, but attempt to simulate the processes and rules that give rise to these conflicts.

The interactive exhibition Games and Politics includes eighteen computer games, of which sixteen can be played. Visitors become players and experience firsthand how the games affect them. The games deal with topics such as media criticism, migration, power relations, gender roles and militarism on an artistic level. They are complemented by three documentaries on the subject.

What a reading is for literature, a "playthrough" is for computer games. On three evenings, selected games are played live, the course of the game is classified and commented on by Cypriot and German experts, and questions from the audience are answered. The award-winning games Papers, Please! and Orwell as well as Perfect Woman are presented and discussed. While the simulation of bureaucracy, Papers, Please!, deals with working at the border crossing of a dictatorial regime, Orwell deals with the dystopic consequences of digital surveillance technology and Perfect Woman humorously investigates the question of what distinguishes a perfect woman.

The series of events includes the screening of three films that focus on various aspects of gaming: the vulnerability of computer systems (War games), the limits of reality and play (Returning fire) and women and video games (GTFO)

Place: Goethe-Institut Zypern, 21 Markou Drakou Ave., 1102, Nicosia
Language: German, English
Price: Free Admission
Information: +357 22 674606