Transatlantic Gaming Summit
Games & Politics
An Interactive Exhibition of Computer Games
April 7 - May 21, 2017 in Boston & Cambridge
The interactive traveling exhibition Games and Politics presented 16 playable digital games that cover a wide range of political topics. In addition to trying out the politically-ambitious games from the past twelve years, visitors could view an introductory film about the exhibition and three mini-documentaries on additional games. An accompanying exhibition catalog provided background information on these independent games and their unifying concepts.
The exhibtiion was presented in three locations in Boston and Cambridge:
- in the context of the German American Conference at Harvard (Boston, April 7-8)
- at the MIT Stata Center (Cambridge, April 10-14)
- at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery (Jamaica Plain, April 21 - May 21)
German game designer Lea Schönfelder, creater of Perfect Woman, one of the exhibited games, shared her insights at the Cyberarts Gallery exhibtiion opening. At three well-attended Game Nights that followed, we heard from three local experts: George Fifield (new media curator), Jeff Warmouth (media artist, professor at Fitchburg State U) and Ben Houge (composer, digital artist). Scot Osterweil (creative director of Education Arcade at MIT) presented enlightening thoughts on the relation between games and politics at the MIT Stata Center vernissage.
Computer games can be seen as political statements, entertainment or art depending on the context. Games and Politics examines how computer games unfold their political potential. In the exhibited games, players experience the contingencies of political decision-making itself (Democracy III) and witness social injustices. The games address precarious labor conditions (Sunset) and gender issues (Perfect Woman), the surveillance state (Touchtone), the consequences of armed conflicts (This War of Mine), the treatment of refugees (Escape from Woomera) and revolutions against totalitarian systems (Yellow Umbrella). Adopting the characters of often-marginalized people such as a border official, housekeeper, drone pilot or war survivor, players experience limited possibilities and negative sanctions through both the character and the game play.
This exhibition is organized by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien in Karlsruhe).
48-Hour Game Jam: Art, Politics and Games
May 19-21, 2017 at the Goethe-Institut Boston
Game developers, programmers, artists, musicians, thinkers and other creatively-minded individuals moved into (literally!) the Goethe-Institut Boston for 48 hours to develop digital games relating to art and politics . Facilitated by Riad Djemilli of Maschinen-Mensch, an award-winning indie game developing studio in Berlin, the 34 participants digested a series of inspirational talks and films, split up into groups and proceeded to develop 11 games based on the secret theme 'unrealities'. Following presentations and play-testing, three winning games were chosen by a local jury at the end of the jam.
Congradulations to all participants for the high-quality, extreemly diverse games presented on Sunday evening.
The federal Foreign Office funded project ART GAMES takes place at eight stations of the exhibition across the world and encourages the creation of games within 48 hours that go beyond the demands of the mainstream. In each location one team/idea is chosen by a jury to receive mentoring by a renowned expert and presented in Germany in 2018. The game jams take place in Mexico City, Seoul, Jakarta, Boston, Novosibirsk, São Paulo, Athens and Ho Chi Minh City.
ART Games is a project of the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with Maschinen-Mensch and is sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
PAX East: March 10-12 in Boston
The PAX East and our Transatlantic Gaming Summit Quiz have ended. A big THANK YOU to all 1000 participants! Who is the lucky one to go to Gamescom in Cologne? Watch the clip to find out!
At this year's PAX East (2017) you had the chance to meet German Game Designers at our booth, who presented their games and studios. In addition to cool merchandise, like authentic German Haribo gummybears, flyers, buttons and stickers, you got to play various interesting new games from Germany! You even had the chance to win a trip to the world's largest games-expo in Cologne, Germany!
Video wird geladen© Goethe-Institut Boston
Our gamers, designers and producers included:
Björn Bartholdy from Cologne Game Lab
Riad Djemeli from Mensch Maschine
Andreas Zecher from Spaces of play
Kevin Glaap from Goodwolf Studio
Utz Stauder from Cologne Game Lab
Onat Hekimoglu from SLOW BROS.
Mareike Ottrand from Studio Fizbin
Thorsten Harmdorf from BIU
Sebastian Bulas from Threaks
Josef Vorbeck from Chasing Carrots
Information on Guests and Games
Information on PAX East
Crossing the Atlantic
Is the grass really greener on the other side of the Atlantic? Couldn’t hurt to find out… The Transatlantic Gaming Summit lets gamers from Boston attend the world’s largest games expo – the Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. One month later six German gamers travel to Boston and Cambridge, visiting MIT, Harmonix, the Indie Collective and the Festival of Independent Games, getting acquainted with the local Boston gaming scene. To be continued …
Visiting the Boston Indies
Visting gamescom, Cologne
Tim Loew, Director Mass Digi, in Cologne
at a break from gamescom
visiting Harmonix in Boston
Jamming Martin Luther
500 years ago Martin Luther nailed his famous theses to the door of a church in the small town of Wittenberg in Thuringia, Germany, and thus sparked an unforeseen revolution. This anniversary offers a great opportunity to celebrate Luther’s life accomplishments. A game design workshop in September 2016 at MIT's Game Lab did just that: six invited game developers from Germany together with MIT Game Lab experts explored topics surrounding the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther and the Protestant Revolution, in particular the influence of the printing press and use of pamphlets to transmit ideas quickly and cheaply. With the advice and assistance from two experts on the history and theology of Martin Luther and the events that took place during his lifetime, our participants created six promising game prototypes. Some explored the personage of Martin Luther, others the ideas around forming belief and persuasion, and some around the transmission of ideas through printed materials. Two of the game prototypes from the workshop will now be further developed for public distribution. The games will illustrate one key system in play during Martin Luther’s life and the beginnings of the Reformation: the use of the printing press and pamphleteering as a new medium of communication.
Martin Luther bei Playmobil
Pastor Robin Lutjohann berät
Die Organisatoren, MIT Game Lab
das Spiel entsteht