9th Clash of Realities:
Recap + Save the Date

+++ Save the Date +++

10th Clash of Realities – November 19-21, 2019

Recap – 9th Clash of Realities

From November 12-14, 2018, the 9th Clash of Realities Conference turned the Cologne Game Lab into the central arena for an interdisciplinary exchange and dialogue. More than 50 international speakers from the academy, science and research, economics, politics and the game industry along with an enthusiastic audience made the conference a rewarding and stimulating experience.

Opening Event


This year’s edition of the conference was opened with an insightful keynote on the cultural significance and social importance of games. Carolyn Petit, Managing Editor of Feminist Frequency and former editor and critic at GameSpot, talked about concepts of representation and identification, and their power to shape our culture. Beforehand Prof. Dr. Stefan Herzig, President of TH Köln – University of Applied Science, Dr. Ralf Heinen, Mayor of the City of Cologne, Oliver Keymis, Vice-President of the state parliament of North-Rhine Westfalia, and Till Hardy from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW welcomed the guests to the Cologne Game Lab.


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Summit Day

The second day of the conference featured a compelling series of lectures and workshops on the topics of Game Development, Games Studies, Media Education/Ethics, Film and Games, and Diversity in Games. The talks dealt with pressing questions concerning the artistic design, technological development and social perception of digital games, as well as the spreading of games literacy.

Game Development Summit: The Evolution of Visual Storytelling

Media Educations Summit: Inclusive Worlds of Games

Games Studies Summit: Playing Utopia – Futures in Digital Games

Film and Games Summit: Perspectives of Narrative Design

Diversity in Games Summit: Gender and Sexuality






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 Young Academics Workshop: Reframing the violence in video games debate

On Monday, Nov. 12, in the run-up to the opening of the 9th Clash of Realities Conference The Young Academics Workshop focused on one of the most notorious debates concerning digital games: violence. The workshop seeked to reframe the topic by expanding the conversation to include a broad spectrum of disciplines and perspectives, in order to elevate the discussion beyond the polarizing invective that has all too often dominated the popular discourse.


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 Main Conference Day


The Main Conference Day featured keynote presentations by Jesper Juul, Clara Fernandez-Vara, Christopher Power, Christopher Ferguson and Cara Ellison as well as two Town Hall Talks.


Keynote speakers, Program Board & Team Clash of Realities 2018

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 About Clash of Realities

Since 2006, the Clash of Realities international research conference on the art, technology and theory of digital games has brought together a diverse selection of experts in Cologne. The Clash of Realities conference is hosted by the University of Applied Sciences of Cologne (TH Köln) and has taken place on a yearly basis since 2015.

Indicative of its European setting, this artistic-academic research conference offers the opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange among the most important impulses and synergies currently resonating in research, science and pedagogy as well as in the media and creative industries.

The target audience of this English language conference includes game developers, humanists, social scientists, specialists in education and media, up-and-coming creative talents, students and all those interested in and excited by digital games.

The Clash of Realities Conference is organized by the TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. Those responsible for the Clash of Realities concept and program layout 2018 are Gundolf S. Fryermuth, Björn Bartholdy, Judith Ruzicka-Grote and Hanns Christian Schmidt (all Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences), Angela Tillmann and André Weßel (Institut für Medienforschung and Medienpädagogik of TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences), Simone Stewens and Joachim Friedmann (both ifs internationale filmschule köln GmbH), Benjamin Beil (Institut für Medienkultur und Theater of the University of Cologne), Martin Lorber (Electronic Arts), Nina Kiel (Freelance game developer and video game journalist), Kristian Mayewski (Freelance game developer) and AG Games. Clash of Realities 2018 is supported by TH Köln, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the City of Cologne, the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Electronic Arts and MedienNetzwerk NRW.