gameZ & ruleZ #10
October 20-21 2022
ToniAreal, 5th Floor, Room 5.K12
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK)
Department of Design
Fachrichtung Game Design
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 96
Postfach, CH-8031 Zürich, Switzerland
Watch my presentation, Playing Politics here
I will be talking about video games and politics - the theme of my last two edited books, Game Over (2020) and the upcoming Reset - at the 10th edition of one of the coolest game and culture festivals in Europe, gameZ and ruleZ, which takes place annually in Zürich, Switzerland, is organized by Mela Kocher from the Master's Program in Game Design in collaboration with GameLab's coordinators Beat Suter and René Bauer. This year's topic is Mechanics of Play. The event will be live streamed and the line-up of speakers is simply stellar. It takes place during DIGITAL ART ZURICH
Play seems to be a free form, it is self-contained and people do it to get satisfaction. It also helps us to communicate and understand what surrounds us. It is best understood in correlation to normal life or work. Work favours pain and play favours pleasure. Work has to be done to increase productivity, play does not have to be productive, it is not constricted, may be spontaneous, aimless and creative at the same time. And you may even learn something by playing.
The conference looks at moments of play, different aspects of play and playful approaches in games, art and culture. What does free play mean in comparison to play a game with set rules? What happens, if we start changing some of the set rules? And what happens if we constrict free play with boundaries and some rules? If play is like a language, there must be some elements of play that we use in different kinds of playing.
With our guests we are discussing these elements and their connections as mechanics of play. Jörg Piringer plays with language and code. Matteo Bittanti delves into politics and ideology of playing video games. Sonia Fizek looks at playing at a distance and Nathalie Lawhead makes us familiar with humor in playing with software. And there is more, we are pleased to welcome ten guest speakers at the gameZ & ruleZ 2022.
Talk: Playing Politics
gameZ & ruleZ
October 20-21 2022
Walter Benjamin concluded his seminal essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility” (1935-1936) with the diagnosis that society stood at a crossroad: art could become political and/or politics could become aestheticized. The latter option would inevitably lead to friction, violence, and destruction. History tells us that his warning turned out to be prophetic. Keeping in mind that Benjamin used the term “art” as a synonym of what we would call popular culture – first and foremost, cinema –, in this talk I will argue that today we stand at another crossroad. Perhaps the most prominent manifestation of contemporary popular culture, video games, are becoming increasingly politicized. At the same time, politics are becoming “gamified”. What are the stakes? What kinds of scenarios might these tendencies lead to? This talk provides an overview of the video games-politics nexus, exploring such topics as the politics of video games, the relationship between political propaganda and gaming, the increasing politicization of gamer culture, and more. Plenty of examples and case studies will be provided that hopefully will lead to a fruitful conversation.
Matteo Bittanti’s academic research focuses on the cultural, social, and theoretical aspects of emerging technologies, with an emphasis on their effects on communication, visual culture, and the arts. His approach is interdisciplinary, connecting media studies, game studies, visual studies, and art history. He is an Associate Professor at IULM University where he teaches courses on media studies and game studies. Since 2019, He has been on the Board of the Doctorate program in Visual & Media Studies at IULM University, Milan. He lives in San Francisco and Milan.
Program*: Thursday, 20. October, Room 5.K12
|13.30||Matteo Bittanti (gamescenes.org, US): The Politics of Play / Playful Politics (Abstract & Bio)|
|14.30||Sjors Righters (studio rigters, NL): Concepts of the virtual sandbox and how to change them (Abstract & Bio)|
|15.30||BREAK & Coffee|
|16.00||Jörg Piringer (AT): text=code=play (Abstract & Bio)|
|17.00||Daniel Hackbarth (D/CH): Gamification of Politics|
|18.00||Guido Berger (ZHCH): Playing Farming Simulator (CH)|
Program*: Friday, 21. October, Room 5.K12
|13.15||Sonia Fizek (Cologne Gamelab, D) : Playing at a Distance|
|14.15||Max Moswitzer (Artist, Experimental Gameculture AW Wien): Avatar at Play|
|15.15||Experiments in Action: Sebastian Burckhardt (CH): Kloppyssimo (Abstract & Bio)|
|15.40||Experiments in Action: Kathleen Bohren CH): (Abstratd & Bio)|
|16.00||BREAK & Coffee|
|16.30||Nathalie Lawhead (US): When Software makes you laugh|
LINK: Mechanics of Play