Digital Game Exhibition Games & Politics

An Interactive Exhibition of Computer Games

April 7-8
German American Conference at Harvard

(only with conference tickets)

April 10-14, 6am - 6pm
MIT Campus - The Stata Center

Building 32 (Vassar St. entrance)
32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

April 21 - May 21
Boston Cyberarts Gallery

141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain (Boston)

Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 6pm

Opening Reception: Friday, April 21, 6 - 8pm

Special Game Play Nights:
Wednesday, April 26, 7 - 9pm

Wednesday, May 3, 7 - 9pm
Talk: Ben Houge, sound artist and composer

Ben Houge is an internationally active American artist operating at the nexus of music composition, video games, performance, sound installation, and digital art. Since relocating from Shanghai to the Boston area in 2010, his projects have included an asparagus opera, a six-channel sound installation based on live subway sounds, algorithmic choral music, and a real-time video piece visualizing data from the Boston Harbor Islands.

Wednesday, May 17, 7 - 9pm
Talk: Jeffu Warmouth

Jeffu Warmouth is Professor of Communications Media at Fitchburg State University. His work has been exhibited and screened internationally and he has been reviewed in numerous publications. In 2014, the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg, MA featured Warmouth's mid-career retrospective Jeffu Warmouth: "NO MORE FUNNY STUFF".
  • Orwell, Screenshot: Intro © Osmotic Studios, 2016 Orwell © Osmotic Studios, 2016
  • Papers, Please, Document Inspection © 3909 LLC © 3909 LLC
  • Perfect Woman © Peter Lu & Lea Schönfelder, 2014 © Peter Lu & Lea Schönfelder, 2014
  • Sunset © Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn (Tale of Tales), 2015 Sunset © Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn (Tale of Tales), 2015
  • The Cat and the Coup, March 20, 1951, Iranian Parliament nationalizes Oil Industry © Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad, 2011 The Cat and the Coup © Peter Brinson and Kurosh ValaNejad, 2011
  • This War of Mine © 11 bit studios, 2014 © 11 bit studios, 2014
  • Killbox, screenshot © Joseph DeLappe with Malath Abbas, Tom deMajo, Albert Elwin of Biome Collective © Joseph DeLappe with Malath Abbas, Tom deMajo, Albert Elwin of Biome Collective

Computer games can be seen as political statements, entertainment or art depending on the context. Featuring sixteen politically-ambitious computer games from the past twelve years, the touring interactive exhibition Games and Politics examines how computer games unfold their political potential.

In these 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.

Games and Politics presents 16 playable games that cover a wide range of political topics. In addition to trying out the games, visitors can view an introductory film about the exhibition (twenty minutes) and three mini-documentaries about the games. An accompanying exhibition catalog provides background information on these independent games and their unifying concepts.

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).