Summits announced

From November 6-8, 2017 the 8th Clash of Realities Conference will take place in Cologne. Unique in Europe, the international research conference offers the opportunity for an interdisciplinary exchange and dialogue. Experts from the academy, science and research, economics, politics and the game industry will discuss pressing questions concerning the artistic design, technological development, and social perception of digital games, as well as the spreading of games literacy. The conference is aimed at scholars, game developers, specialists in education and media, up-and-coming creative talents, students and all those interested in and excited by digital games.

The conference will start with an evening lecture on November 6 and will be followed by a summit day (November 7) featuring specialized lectures, project presentations, panel discussions and workshops on five topics:

Of Escapism and Activism (Game Development Summit) 

While digital games made for entertainment purposes are considered to be more or less escapist, serious games are known to deal with real world problems and offer critical standpoints: they put you in the position of an activist. In this summit, we will discuss the blurred space where serious games that are fun to play intersect with entertainment games that provide meaningful experiences.

Games and Literature (Game Studies Summit)

The Game Studies Summit will illuminate the relationship between games and literature from intermedial and, in particular, transmedial perspectives. We will reflect on the influence of literature on digital games and on the influence of analog as well as digital games on literary production. Finally, we will ask how the historically grown interdependence of these two media has changed and deepened through creative collaboration under the requirements of digital, transmedial production, i.e. how games and literature (can) profit from each other artistically and fiscally.

Ethics Beyond Gameplay – Politics, Economy, Society (Media Education Summit)

The video game industry has been among the most profitable sectors of the culture and creative industries for many years. Video games are also widely discussed in the sociopolitical context – beyond the topics of addiction and violence. Apart from their function to entertain people, they are also becoming more relevant as means to educate and inform. In this summit, we will approach ethical and moral issues around gaming that affect the social, economic and political dimensions of gaming as a cultural phenomenon.

The Promise of the New – Immersion Revisited (Film and Games Summit)

While immersion continues to be hailed as the promise for upcoming media formats and new technologies, it has a long history. The concept of immersion is linked to aesthetic and philosophical questions, as well as issues crucial to the field of cognitive science. This summit sheds light on particular processes of aesthetic reception at the intersection between story, mind, systems and interaction through the various media studies ranging from literature, film, games and digital formats.

Artistic Approaches to Music and Sound (Game Audio Summit)

In view of the aesthetic ideas and individual approaches that have been brought forth in the sonic arts, in radio drama, on the theatre stage, in performances or sound installations, but also in the cinema, creating musical and auditory worlds for games can mean much more than composing a specific set of musical pieces for standard gaming situations. That is why we shall discuss influences from different areas of mediated music and sound design. What can we learn from them in order to expand the possibilities of game audio today? By reviewing various audio-visual gaming scenarios we will further ask about concepts such as space and presence in augmented, mixed or virtual reality environments from a perceptual standpoint.


On its main day (November 8) the English speaking conference will host internationally renowned scientists, authors and game designers as keynote speakers. There is no conference fee. Registration will open in June. The Clash of Realities Conference is organized by the TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. Those responsible for the 2017 Clash of Realities concept and program layout are the Cologne Game Lab and the Institut für Medienforschung and Medienpädagogik of TH Köln; the ifs internationale filmschule köln GmbH; the Musikwissenschaftliche Institut as well as the Institut für Medienkultur und Theater of the University of Cologne; Electronic Arts, a global leader in the field of digital interactive entertainment; and AG Games, an interdisciplinary association of researchers in the field of digital games.

Clash of Realities 2017 is supported by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, TH Köln, the city of Cologne, the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and Electronic Arts. MedienNetzwerk NRW is our media partner.

Further information on the program and speakers will soon be available here