Game Media: Tool — Consciousness — Tool

Colloquium on the issue of game media

Thursday, 20 October, 2022 - 09:00

Media and technology have an irrefutable impact on the shaping of cultural practice. Furthermore, they affect the ways in which this impact is understood cycling back by contributing to the formulation of our relationship with technology itself.

Similarly, to the broader theories and practices of digital media, the gaming field and industry is a complex interdisciplinary practice located at the intersections of media and art theory, artistic practice, literature, philosophy and aesthetics, sociology, psychology, and last but not least, the field of information technologies.

The "wear and tear" of the mechanisms of the game media industry is multi-layered having gradually appropriated a wide range of platforms as is aptly reflected within the heterogeneous debate on the phenomena surrounding gaming.

How the tools of game media test the possibilities of their creative and expressive functions is the subject of Helena Bendová’s theoretical research which reflects on the relationship between computer games and art (Umění počítačových her—The Art of the Computer Game [2016], Game Art: Web o umění počítačových her—Game Art: Website on the Art of Computer Games [blog]). In some artistic and theoretical works the composition of narrative elements in games is subject to scrutiny, for example in Víťezslav Praks' Computerová naratologie. Narativní schémata počítačových her—Computer naratology: narrative templates in computer games [2009]. We also see a reflection of the various social and historical aspects of game media in works such as Jaroslav Švelch’s Počítačové hry a jejich místo v mediálních studiích—Computer Games and their Role in Media Studies [2007]. Societal (identity, gender), ecological, and environmental phenomena is also explored as can be perceived through an analysis of these aspects in further theoretical and artistic works (such as of András Cséfalvay, for example).

Within and throughout games a wide range of new, fictional spaces, times, and identities are generated. Diverse, artistic, or theoretical projects situate game media in the position of a self-reflexive medium. There are recognizable parallels with Woody and Steina Vasulka’s experiments with the “Demons of the Tools” when game media is approached as an exploration of its own nature and identity, thus becoming a method of self-research.

Not least, the elements and mechanisms of game design, namely the systems of rewards, are applied outside the gaming environment in different areas as gamification, a method to create value, increase motivation, or improve performance.

The colloquium aims to provide insight into game media on two levels in particular — the game medium as an experimental space for subjective, playful, ironic, but also the scientific exploration of the medium itself and its tools and mechanisms; and the role of game media in a social and institutional context, i.e. their modes of reflection and interpretations of contemporary social and environmental issues.

Concept and organization:

Curator: Monika Szűcsová

Organization of the colloquium: Vašulka Kitchen Brno in cooperation with the Brno House of Arts

Venue: Studio in the Brno House of Arts

Colloquium´s Program Schedule

9AM–9:20AM / Opening of the colloquium, opening remarks

Morning Session

9:30–10:15 / Denisa Půbalová and Lea Luka Sikau: Ars for Nons: Art for non-human actors?

10:20–11:15 / Ondřej Trhoň: Become*ing an avatar

11:20–12:05 / Dustin Breitling (pre-recorded): Existential Worlds (english)

12:10–12:55 / Jozef Mrva ml.: Computer games and meme culture. A brief history

Afternoon Session

13:45–14:45 / Panel discussion with all participants

14:50–15:35 / András Cséfalvay: MEMENTO MORTIS CONVALIS / performative presentation

15:40–16:25 / Vít Bohal: Interactive Fiction: from the Tree to the Net

16:30–17:30 / Martina Růžičková a Ondřej Mohyla: Game session "Care from the future"

17:30 / Closing of the colloquium, closing remarks

Closing of the evening: 

18:00 / Exhibition opening Susanna Flock: My Inventory is a Black Hole (Vašulka Kitchen Brno)

Adam Franc: Kritická hra s médiem a se světem