That was Clash of Realities 2016

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Game Designer Eric Zimmerman (NYU Game Center), Prof. Dr. Gundolf S. Freyermuth (TH Köln/Cologne Game Lab), Prof. Olivier Faron (CNAM, Paris), Prof. Stéphane Natkin (CNAM, Paris), Prof. Björn Bartholdy (TH Köln/Cologne Game Lab), Petra Müller (Film- und Medienstiftung NRW), Prof. Dr. Thomas Becker (TH Köln) © Costa Belibasakis / TH Köln, Cologne Game Lab


The 7th Clash of Realities Conference is over!

A big thank you goes out to all speakers, participants, supporters and project partners! It was a blast!

From November 14-16, 2016 the Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games took place at Cologne Game Lab, Cologne. At the center of this artistic-academic English language conference there were questions concerning the aesthetic development, theoretical analysis, and cultural mediation of digital games. Experts from the academy, science and research, economics, politics, and the game industry discussed pressing questions concerning the artistic design, technological development, and social perception of digital games, as well as the spreading of games literacy. Among the invited were scholars, game developers, social scientists, specialists in education and media, up-and-coming creative talent, students and all those interested in and excited by digital games

50+ international speakers, including many world-renowned academics as well as outstanding personalities from the creative industry were our guests. As one of the highlights, Prof. Eric Zimmerman, opened the conference with a performative lecture: “A clash of opinions: A Discussion on Games, Design, and Culture”. In a late afternoon Pre-Event, Ortwin Freyermuth (Co-Founder of the Cloud Imperium Games Corporation, Los Angeles) spoke about the development of Star Citizen, the biggest crowd-funded game project to date with over 130 million dollars in funding.

The Summit Day (November 15) featured discussion sessions, project presentations, and workshops on six topics, all of which promote a critical-analytical as well as an artistically advanced approach to digital games: Aesthetics of Play (Game Development), Digital Games: Transmedia Works of Art (Game Studies), Digital Games as Social Environments (Media Education/Media Ethics), Cineludic Aesthetics (Film and Games), Of Broadcasters and Game Masters (Television and Games) and Save the Game (Games Preservation).

On the conference’s main day (November 16), NRW-state secretary Dr. Marc Jan Eumann (Ministry of Federal Affairs, Europe and Media) delivered some opening remarks. Prof. Dr. Klaus Becker (Executive Vice President of TH Köln) and Ute Berg (councilor of economics and real estate in Cologne) likewise greeted the conference guests. Prof. Dr. Mark J.P. Wolf (Concordia University, Wisconsin) then opened the proceedings with a talk on “Worlds Apart? Game Worlds Versus Other Imaginary Worlds,” followed by David OReilly’s keynote on reality, death and language in his new game Everything. With a talk titled “Cinema and Game Spaces: Disorder, Disorient, Disrupt,” Prof. Dr. Thomas Elsaesser (University of Amsterdam) addressed the perception of contingency and causality in games and film. Prof. Dr. Miguel Sicart (IT University of Copenhagen) introduced games as a way of life, as creative appropriation of places and things, and as moral activity. Prof. Colleen Macklin (Parsons New School for Design) closed the day with a talk on “Systems and Sensibilities: Stories from Serious Games.”

Look at the conference’s photo gallery here.

The Clash of Realities Conference is organized by TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. Those responsible for the Clash of Realities concept and program layout are the Cologne Game Lab and the Institut für Medienforschung and Medienpädagogik of the TH Köln, the ifs internationale filmschule köln GmbH, the Institut für Medienkultur und Theater of the University of Cologne, Electronic Arts, Eyes and Ears of Europe, as well as AG Games.

Project sponsors include TH Köln, the Film und Medien Stiftung NRW, the city of Cologne and the Ford Motor Company. Media partners include the Medien Cluster NRW and WDR Funkhaus Europa.