Archive for Updates

Day 1 in pictures

Just a brief update with few pics from the first day of #GGConf2017! It’s been such a blast!

Join us again tomorrow, Tuesday, for:
09:00 – Human Rights in Virtual Worlds
10:00 – Designing games as an expression of grief
11:00 – followed by three hours of games on the show floor (11:00-14:00)!
14:00 – After the final talk by Bonnie Ruberg (14-15) there are just a two more hours to try the games before the show floor is shut down for this year (17:00, sharp)!

See you there!

Radio Gotland interviews Doris Rusch

Hon vill ha mer kärlek och kreativitet i dataspel

Errant Signal, live at the GGC!

YouTube, as a maturing platform, has given us some amazing things! We have channels exploring games culture and social politics, cultural reflection by way of car reviews, games industry consumer rights, sexplanations – all kinds of wonderful, insightful and important content, and we are massive fans of the medium!

A couple of years back we had Super Bunnyhop over to lend his heavy research and journalistic style to the conference. This year we’re bringing in another department favorite with Chris Franklin of Errant Signal-fame. We’ve been following his channel religiously for ~4 years now, and if you haven’t yet discovered his blend of academic insight and accessible presentation, allow us to introduce you by shining a spotlight on a few of his many insightful video essays!

The Debate That Never Took Place (ludology vs. narrative

Ludography of Blendo Games

Or how about some in-depth game analysis?

If you haven’t added Errant Signal as a regular to your subscriptions, then you’ve missed gems like these! His work is exactly the type of thing we aim at with these conferences: taking something of great interest/importance and deep diving – feet first! His ease of style belies his academic rigor and makes his material essential viewing.

But don’t take our word for it, come and see him yourself, on the big stage at Wisby Strand! In Platform Pressures and Perils Chris will lead us through “a meandering chat about how computers shape the games they run”, starting 10:00 on Monday 29/5.

We hope to see you there!

Introducing: Doris Rusch

Doris C. Rusch is an assistant professor of game design in the College of Computing and Digital Media’s School of Design where she founded the Play 4 Change lab. Rusch’s work is focused on the theory and practice of creating games that model the “human experience” and focus on mental health issues. Her expertise as a game designer opened her eyes to a new theory, which she discussed in this TED-talk titled, “Why Game Designers are Better Lovers.”

Doris is giving an entirely new talk at the Gotland Game Conference, on Monday at 14:00. Don’t miss it!

Check the game trailers out!

Our students are game designers, but making a game is not enough. You must also be able to show it off, to reach an audience, to pitch it. If a screenshot says a thousand words, and a GIF a million, a video can be an entire Library of Congress! And thus, we force them to create short video trailers for everything they make.

We just published a Youtube-playlist with all of the games for 2017! These will all be available for you to play on the show floor next week! So check the trailers out, leave a friendly comment to the creators and then come meet them and play the games on mon-tue next week – 29-30 May!

“Cunt Touch This!”, our sixth and final talk is in place

This talk will touch a particularly hot subject: The vulva. And by extension it will let us consider topics like pleasure, shame and embarrassment in gaming.

“you never win ‘over’ the Cunt. You win for it.”

“you never win ‘over’ the Cunt. You win for it.”

While games fetishise “fun” they still have a problem embracing subjects like intimacy, sex and pleasure as possible variants of it. Using the case of Cunt Touch This, a vulva-based tablet colouring game designed as a tribute to Tee Corinne’s iconic Cunt Coloring Book, Sabine Harrer will introduce the mechanics of the game and explore some of the “cuntroversial” responses it received.

For a quick taste of what’s in store, we highly recommend this interview by Jess Joho over at Kill Screen – A new game aims to reclaim one of our most taboo words – in which both Sabine and the ever amazing Andrea Hasselager reflect on their work in a flurry of cunt puns. 😀

Sabine is presenting Vulvas on the Tablet: Cunt Touch This at 15:00 on Tuesday 29/5. Sign up for a free visitors pass and come listen!

Behind the scenes

A peek behind the curtains on a Saturday; our 1st year students hard at work building their games for the GGC Show Floor. Only 15 days to go!

It might be weekend-work, but it’s not in vain; there are well over 300 people currently signed up to come and playtest! Make sure you have a ticket too. The Visitors Pass is the cheapest option (pay what you want) and is good for the entire conference – play games, listen to lectures, the award show and the party!

See you there!

Educators: don’t forget to register for the Summit

The Higher Education Video Game Alliance is joining us on Gotland at the end of may!

The Higher Education Video Game Alliance is joining us on Gotland at the end of May!

There is still some room in the Game Educators Summit. Are you too pressed for time to attend the full Summit + GGC? We have a suggestion!

Why not attend just the last two days: Tue 30 – Wed 31. That will get you the final day of the GGC show floor, with awards and mingle (= get to know everyone), and the summit working day on 31/5. You can even make the evening flight or ferry back that same day.

So if you are teaching university level game design- och development and haven’t already done so, please:

We – Uppsala University and HEVGA – hope to see you there!

The votes are in, and the fifth talk is…

Bonnie Ruberg at the GGC 2011

Our fifth speaker presented us with not just one idea, but four(!). We wanted all of them, natch, and the arguing about which one to pick was so fierce we just decided to abdicate our responsibility and let someone else choose. You all voted in our Facebook poll and the result was 40% for a critical examination of so called “empathy games”.

So Bonnie Ruberg – founder of the Queerness and Games Conference, academic overachiever per-excellence and a well known fan-favorite of ours – is coming to GGC to talk about games that allow players to experience the lives of the marginalized. These games, designed to be immersive, impactful, and socially meaningful, run the risk of being appropriative. As Robert Yang recently put it; “If you walk in someone else’s shoes, then you’ve taken their shoes.” So Bonnie will help us look at the problems with game empathy, and methods of solving these problems.

The full abstract has been added to the existing line-up for your perusal.

So let us just gush about Bonnie for a while, because we have been fan-girling over following Bonnie for quite some time! We had her on the island back in 2010 when she ran a full day workshop with our students, about bravely (yet responsibly!) approaching sex and gender representation in their game designs.

From Bonnie Ruberg's 2010 workshop "Re-Doing Sex/Gender in Games", on campus Gotland

Then we had her back for the keynote at GGC 2011 where she talked about close reading video games – because there is no such as thing as taking your entertainment media too seriously! More recently her work with the Queerness and Games Conference have contributed greatly in helping us make not only our education, but also this conference as inclusive, welcoming and safe as possible!

In short; we like Bonnie quite a lot, and we think you will too. 🙂 We are extremely happy to have her back, and slightly embarrassed it’s been so long!

Thank you Bonnie, and thanks to everyone who participated in the poll! We hope you take the opportunity to see Bonnie deliver the presentation live next month!

Announcing the jury!

Jury hard at work. :)

The jury represents the most hard-working participants at the Gotland Game Conference (save for our students, naturally). Jurors travel from near and far to listen to our students’ presentations a day before the conference even starts, and to play all of the student productions on the show floor.

Each members brings their own set of experience and expertise, and share that insight directly with the students during the presentations. This is followed by two days of hard labor where each jury member needs to play enough to provide meaningful written feedback (as well as numeric scores) on each game. These scores does not affect student grades, of course, but are an integral part of the GGC Awards and for our students’ learning outcomes!

The jury is absolutely massive, as they need to cover all three years of our education!

Without further ado, here is the complete 2017 Jury!

  1. Anton Albiin, Association of Swedish Game Developers
  2. Bonnie Ruberg, UC Irvine
  3. Chris Franklin, Errant Signal
  4. Doris Rusch, DePaul University
  5. Maria Guadalupe Alvarez, Högskolan i Skövde
  6. Joakim Sjöberg, Odd Raven Studios
  7. Joshua Juvrud, Uppsala University
  8. Martine Pedersen, IndSpark
  9. Mattias “Ditto” Dittrich, Art in Heart
  10. Mike Sellers, Indiana University
  11. Richard Bartle, University of Essex
  12. Sabine Harrer, University of Vienna
  13. Samson Wiklund, Diversi
  14. Patrick Seibert, Founder: indiecouch.org
  15. Travis C. Parrott, Westlaw Legal Solutions
  16. Fred Ström, Pixel Ferrets
  17. Jens Berglind, Might and Delight
  18. Joakim Andreasson, Paradox Development Studio
  19. Jona Marklund, KJ Interactive
  20. Martin Greip, Eat Create Sleep
  21. Max Tiilikainen, iGotcha Studios
  22. Olof Wallentin, Starbreeze Studios
  23. Pernilla Sparrhult, Paradox Development Studio
  24. Peter Stråhle, Might and Delight
  25. Sigrid Svederoth, Cortopia AB
  26. Teddy Sjöström, Pixel Ferrets
  27. Thommy Siverman, Electronic Arts
  28. Tobias Wahlberg, TOB-E GAMES
  29. Vilya Svensson, Pixel Ferrets
  30. Ylva Ljungqvist, Paradox Development Studio

Bold is GAME alumni  – welcome back! 🙂

And thanks in advance to all the jurors for taking the time – and putting up the effort – to help improve our students, our education, and our medium!