Interactive Exhibition Games and Politics

Sunset © Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn (Tale of Tales), 2015 Sunset © Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn (Tale of Tales), 2015

2/21 - 3/3/2017 - Opening reception: 2/17/2017, 6:30 pm | Opening hours of the exhibition: Mon-Thu 10 am - 6 pm, Fri 10 am - 4 pm.

Goethe-Institut San Francisco

An interactive exhibition by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with ZKM | Center for Art and Media.
Whether computer games are seen as a political issue, as an entertainment medium or even as art, depends at present on the context. Every game positions itself within a society and thus makes society one of its themes. We therefore can postulate a political relevance for all computer games, even and especially when they seem to elude all political action (that is, collectively binding decisions). Even for these games it applies that the players issue regulations, but also must in turn play according to the rules of the game in order to play at all. At the other end of this spectrum are games that are deliberately used for the goals of political education or propaganda with a view to reaching otherwise hard-to-reach target groups.
The touring exhibition GAMES AND POLITICS examines how computer games unfold their political potential. With the aid of obviously politically ambitious computer games of the past twelve years, it explores the scope and limits of the genre, constructing a counter-position within the entertainment industry.
GAMES AND POLITICS wants to present examples of various levels of the political sphere in games that can for the most part be played at the exhibition itself. The exhibition curators (Stephan Schwingeler of the ZKM and Jeannette Neustadt-Grusche of the Goethe-Institut / co-curator: Sophie Rau of the Goethe-Institut) have also asked both experts in media and cultural studies and game developers about the political potential of computer games. Their answers will be presented in mini-documentaries, a film introducing the exhibition and the exhibition catalogue.
In the context of the exhibition's broad range of different topics, the Goethe-Institut San Francisco will also host a panel discussion focusing on the diversity aspect of computer games. On March 1, 6:30 PM guests are cordially invited to listen to experts from various fields in a vivid and informative debate.