Games and Politics
In autumn 2019, the Goethe-Institut Cyprus presented Games and Politics – a series of events, which dealt with the role and relevance of games and gaming in society.
The interactive exhibition Games and Politics included eighteen computer games, a selection of which were played live on three evenings. During the "playthrough", the course of the game was classified and commented on by Cypriot and German experts, and questions from the audience were answered. The award-winning games Papers, Please! and Orwell as well as Perfect Woman were presented and discussed.
You can now watch the three playthroughs and the discussions that followed on our YouTube channel. On 5 August 2020 we are streaming the playthrough of Orwell, which deals with the dystopic consequences of digital surveillance technology.
Osmotic Studios I 2016
The video game Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You by Osmotic Studios throws the player into a world where surveillance is part of everyday life. In the fictional state "The Nation", which is led by the dictatorial regime called “The Party”, citizens are spied on by the surveillance system “Orwell". Through this surveillance system, so-called “Investigators” and their "Advisors" filter and evaluate the communication of suspected persons. The particular twist: The Investigators sit outside of “The Nation”, as spies recruited abroad. The player takes on the role of an investigator who should analyze the data of suspects after a terror attack. In the process the player is never fully aware of all the incidents, but is dependent on the information and instructions given by the advisor. Quickly the question arises: who is spying on whom.
Moderator: Frixos Masouras
Gamer: Constantinos Psillides
Speaker DE: Daniel Marx, Osmotic Studios (Spielentwickler von Orwell)
Speaker CY: Dinos Pastos, Internet Security Expert
Frixos Masouras was born and raised in Cyprus during times of less technological dependence. That makes him sound like a technophobe, but in reality, the previous statement is simple fact and not a nostalgic dirge. An avid gamer, both on tabletops and monitors, he grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons since he was 12 and a myriad of digital games on countless systems. He understood early on that the social responsibility that befalls on the shoulders of developers is not unlike the responsibility of any other creators of art. He is a published author and screenwriter as well as an established sports commentator and presenter for the last twelve years.
is a former journalist, specializing in the areas of technology, environment and social issues. Having worked in the industry for more than 10 years, he is now currently employed by a software company as Project Manager. Always interested in what lies ahead, Constantinos hosted one of the first podcasts in Cyprus, the Laughing Mouflon Show
where he interviewed people from the entertainment industry as well as experts in various academic fields. Ever the gamer, he continues to have fun in the virtual world while remaining aware of the huge impact the gaming industry now has in modern society.
Photo: Osmotic Studios
Daniel Marx is CEO and Game Director at Osmotic Studios, a small team of game developers from Hamburg, Germany. In 2016 the studio launched their multi-award-winning debut project Orwell, an interactive thriller about data espionage.
Originally Daniel studied computer science at Paderborn University. After graduation, he made his first steps in the games industry at Daedalic Entertainment before continuing his studies at the HAW Hamburg in the "Games Master". In the study program he co-developed the project GroundPlay, which won the German Computer Game Award in 2013. Although GroundPlay was discontinued, the award win made it possible to found Osmotic Studios.
Dinos Pastos was born in Birmingham (England) on June 15, 1981, and since 1988 he lives in Nicosia. He holds MSc Advanced Software Engineering from Westminster University. His professional activity began in Cyprus with the development of innovative technological products and services. In a while he managed to find himself in America and Canada, where he successfully continued researching for innovative projects. He specializes in Internet Security, Computer forensic analyst, and in the field of electronic communications.
About the exhibition "Games and Politics"
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 included eighteen computer games, of which sixteen could be played by visitors. The games dealt with topics such as media criticism, migration, power relations, gender roles and militarism on an artistic level. Visitors took the role of the players and experienced firsthand how the games affected them.