We want video games to be more than simple entertainment. While perfectly happy to teach students the craft of designing and developing commercially viable products, we must also strive to instill artistic integrity and help them realize the depth, nuance and potential of their medium.
The 2017 Gotland Game Conference is that.
“M for Mature” is a conversation from many perspectives; video games’ ability to explore mature subject matters; our ability cater to mature audiences, and to resist the mono-culture that is the current entertainment industry. A three day exploration of the norm-breaking potential of the game developer.
Yes, we do want to talk about sex; actual and virtual and the interlacing of the two (sextech! teledildonics! novel input devices!). But we also want to talk about death, and fear of failure. Games that help us deal with social anxiety, addiction or disorders. Games that help us navigate the woes of adulthood and that tell genuine tales of love and intimacy.
And the more of life we mediate by moving personal expression and human connections into digital realms; the more important it is for us to question the distinction between “virtual” and “real”. We need take responsibility for our users safety and even human rights! Strategies to prevent harassment, silencing and exclusion needs to, not only, be addressed, but fought for and enforced.
And further still, we need to talk about the market realities for mature games. How do we get them into the hands of an audience that understands, wants, and appreciates it? How do we design for people, and not just for self identified “gamers”.
So come to Gotland this spring and help us write a new kind of power fantasy!
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New for 2017 is the addition of the first ever European Game Educators Summit. The educators summit will be a meeting of all university-level game educations, with the intent of organizing a network of support and knowledge and to ensure that our field of study remains relevant and academically sound. The summit bookends the conference and will have a separate page up soon!