The NOTGAMES FEST is returning to Cologne this summer with an exquisite selection of extraordinary interactive works of art. Become part of the 7-day exhibition from August 2-8, submit your game, come play and celebrate with us at the Vernissage in our brand new location near the Cologne trade fair.

The NOTGAMES FEST is an alternative games program to the mainstream events in Cologne taking place mid-August. The event is highly inspired by the NOTGAMES idea of Belgian interactive artists Tale of Tales and hosted by the Cologne Game Lab – Institute for Game Development and Research at the TH Koeln.

Heart piece to the festival is its unique approach to the public (dis)play of games. Entering the exhibition ground´s 360° meta experience, visitors are taken right into the magic that lies within each of the selected games waiting to be played.

The Notgames Fest is funded by Film und Medien Stiftung NRW.



“Video games sure have been expanding lately. There’s more stories and more experiments than ever before. Alt games are picking up where indie games left off. But none of this buzzing happens very far from the hive.

It seems hard to escape the gravity of planet game.

For a medium that is over a century old, young age is surprisingly often cited to explain the slender offer of remarkable art. Especially considering the speed at which they say computer technology evolves.

Or maybe we are looking at things too closely.

If one would only know about action movies, one could easily become frustrated by the lack of depth and originality in film. What if video games are the equivalent of action movies in another, so far unnamed, medium? If we expand our view to include all sorts of interactive creation we needn’t look far for our own Eisensteins or Buñuels.

There’s more than one planet in our solar system. Speed things up to escape velocity. There’s a whole universe out there waiting to be explored. There are no rules. There are no conventions that we need to adhere to. Break out of the niche and embrace the infinite potential of notgames.

These machines can do anything!”

Michaël Samyn, Tale of Tales



For our expo we are looking for extraordinary interactive works of art that do not primarily rely on competition, goals or rewards but focus on atmosphere, story, emotions, expression, meaning and beauty, and also simply the joy of experimenting, playing, exploring on and off screen.

Submit your work before July 1, exhibit at the expo and help us spread a new way of thinking on game design.

 Curators 2015

  • Simon Bachelier
  • Auriea Harvey
  • Merrit Kopas
  • Michael Samyn
  • Lara Sánchez Coterón
  • Katharina Tillmanns

Submission Deadline has passed!

Discover the Notgames Fest