Clash of Realities at
A MAZE. / Berlin

On Thursday, April 26, the international arts and science research conference Clash of Realities (12-14 November 2018) hosted a guest track for the first time at the 7th A MAZE. / Berlin – International Games and Playful Media Festival in Berlin. The track dealt with the fundamental question of how the procedures and results of academic and artistic research relate to one another. Under the title “Academic and Artistic Research” the conference featured a selection of renowned scientists as well as outstanding projects that embody the interface between academic and artistic research.


Prof. Dr. Frans Mäyrä, director of the Finnish Center of Excellence for Game Culture Studies of the University of Tampere (UTA), showcased the work of the UTAgamelab in his keynote presentation titled “Potentials of Multidisciplinary Collaboration in the Study of Future Game and Play Forms”, which for many years has been working at the interface of the arts and social sciences as well as design research. Based on his experience combining scientific and creative work, he discussed the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration in game research.


Cologne Game Lab’s Katharina Tillmanns presented her work on the augmented reality games app Porta Praetoria C.C.A.A., designed for children and young adults to explore the Roman history of Cologne.


Prof. Dr. Isabela Granic of Radboud University, the Netherlands, shared insights on virtual reality projects like DEEP that combine neuroscience and developmental and clinic psychology to create virtual experiences that can improve emotional health.


CGL’s Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Guardiola (TH Köln) explained the challenges he faced whilst working with international partners on the development of the learning app “Antura and the Letters


Prof. Dr. Pippin Barr of Concordia University, Canada, gave the closing keynote titled “Materialising Game Design”, in which he presented methods that make otherwise invisible processes of game development experiential for gamers.


9th Clash of Realities

From November 12 to 14 the 9th Clash of Realities international research conference is providing the opportunity for 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.

This conference welcomes scholars, social scientists, game developers, specialists in education and media, up-and-coming creative talents, students, and all those interested in and excited by digital games.

More than 50 international speakers from the academy, science and research, economics, politics and the game industry along with an enthusiastic audience will convene at the Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln – University of Applied Science, a pillar of interdisciplinary exchange and dialogue.

The conference kick-off including the opening keynote will be followed by a day of summits featuring talks, project presentations, panel discussions, and workshops. Finally, the main day of the Clash of Realities will feature renowned speakers from all around the globe.



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.