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 12 August 2020 we are streaming the playthrough of Perfect Woman, which humorously investigates the question of what distinguishes a perfect woman.
Peter Lu & Lea Schönfelder | 2014
The game Perfect Woman deals playfully with the diverse and often conflicting expectations of society towards the role of women.
The player runs through the life of a woman from birth to death, divided into different parts. At the beginning of each part the player can choose between four options with different difficulty levels. The role model proposals differ from the cliché as a princess (medium difficulty) to a more atypical role like a Pro Gamer (easy) or as a Minister of Foreign Affairs (difficult).
Next, tracked by Kinect the player must use their movements to bend into the positions required by the simulator – no easy task depending on the chosen role. Players learn the hard way: each of women's roles requires twisting and bending in order to fulfil it. Simultaneously the game allows the player to create their own version of a “Perfect Woman” – consisting of many different facets.
Moderator: Chrystalleni Loizidou
Gamer: Katrin Henn
Speakers CY: Maria Petrides, Yianna Americanou
Chrystalleni Loizidou (PhD) is a mom, a cultural theorist, and an eco-art+tech curator with a focused interest in the international zeitgeist of women's movements and free/livre technology. She has arrived at these priorities through academic research on public space, heritage, and art practices towards conflict-resolution/transformation, and a background in Philosophy, Art History, Design, Cultural Studies, and the workings of big institutions. During the day she has been teaching media studies and writing international programmes with effect on policy, and at night she has been organising and writing about hackathons and unconferences, working in support of the DIY and hackerspace community.
Maria Petrides (b. UK) is an independent writer, editor and translator. She has contributed to magazines/anthologies & art publications, and participated as writer-in-residency in NYC, Nicosia, Istanbul, Helsinki, Rio de Janeiro, Geneva. She’s translator of Wow, a political comic book by Ariadni Kousela, Patakis Publishers & co-translator of Bill Ayers’, To Teach the Journey, in Comics, contributing author for book collection, A Book of Small Things & assistant editor of Evripides Zantides’ volume, Semiotics: Visual communication II, (Cambridge Scholars). She is co-editor of Literary Agency Cyprus anthology, Nicosia beyond barriers - voices from a divided city, (Saqi Books, 2019), and co-founder of artist/research group, pick nick.
Yianna Americanou received her MA in Film and Television Production from the University of Bristol, UK and her BA (with High Honors) in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Experimental Filmmaking from the University of Iowa. She acted as Head of MEDIA (Creative Europe Programme) for over ten years, but her true passion for filmmaking and directing forced her to follow her directing path. Her short films have been screened at many important International Film Festivals such as Rotterdam IFF, Oberhausen ISFF and has received prestigious awards from Hamburg IFF, Drama IFF, etc. Her short film Lullaby was used by STOP International in Geneva (Anti Human Trafficking) to promote anti-trafficking legislations and was screened in all major military camps in Cyprus. She is a member of the Cyprus Directors Union, member of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network and President of the Committee of the International Motion Film Festival, Cyprus.
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.