Recap: 9th Clash of Realities 2018

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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Publication: Selected conference topics and presentations from 2015 and 2016 are included in a complementary publication.