Earn a free conference pass!

Three of the 2016 jurors, hard at work jotting down feedback and discussing the projects they've seen
So your crowdfunding missed its target, your company can’t send you, or you want to scout talent before anyone else gets the chance. Whatever the reason, you may earn yourself a free Conference Pass and front row seats to meet our students by serving on the GGC Jury!

The jury arrive a day early (28/5) to attend student presentations (2-4 hours, with breaks) and then play their games on the show floor and provide thoughtful and constructive feedback throughout the conference. Jury duty requires no work prior to the event, but once here you will have to prioritize and make time to play all games – enough to provide fair criticism and advice.

So; if you are interested in going to Visby to meet our students, provide them with thoughtful feedback, and participate in a uniquely wide-eyed games conference, simply fill in the application!

Thank you!

Educators Summit update

Adam Mayes introduction lecture for Big Game Project, 2012
The Game Educators Summit is a 2-day meeting hosted by the Department of Game Design, during the GGC. We aim to bring together all higher game educations (internationally) to discuss our common concerns and set up a network of support.

So; two days, broken up by the Gotland Game Conference. The first day (28/5) is filled with short presentations and an evening meet-and-greet on the show floor among the student games.

The second day (31/5) takes place after the GGC, when everyone is warmed up and inspired. We’ll meet the Higher Education Videogame Alliance, and then split into groups to discuss our specific areas of interest.

Please check the summit page for all details and to submit presentations!

Conference sessions so far

Audience at GGC 2016 sessions
So far, we have a one-two punch of Chris Franklin and Doris Rusch: Chris will lay the foundation of a platform study, arguing that computational devices funnels us towards spatial simulation and conflict – partially explaining the early decades of simplistic violence in our video games.

Then Doris will follow up and show how we might resist this technological determinism, bringing metaphor and nuance into our digital systems.

There have a big-picture talk from the father of MMO’s – Richard Bartle – about the surprising interweaving of human rights and the virtual worlds we create.

We contrast Bartle’s massive scope with a deeply personal and intimate design lecture by Sabine Harrer – using lessons learned from developing Jocoi, a game about pregnancy loss, to teach us about the power of grief in games.

So that’s the first four in place! There’s four more slots to fill in the coming weeks – stay tuned. 🙂

Tickets are available!

Registration for the 2017 Gotland Game Conference (29/5 & 30/5 in Visby) is now open! Please visit our ti.to page to register.

ti.ti registration page screenshot

The GGC is an annual non-profit conference hosted by the department of Game Design at Uppsala University campus Gotland.

About the Visitors Pass

We are committed to welcoming a diverse community, and we know that financial accessibility is an important part of that goal. For 2017 we are offering a pay-what-you-want Visitors Pass. We kindly request that you pay what feels fair and right for you. All registered attendees get the same access to the conference. Paying more or less will not affect your experience at the event.

Please note that ALL visitors must be registered – even if you donate only 1kr; this is an insurance- and safety issue. Visitors Passes can be bought on site (credit cards only!).

About the other passes

If you do pay for your ticket, your contribution goes toward helping us bring you lots of great stuff. That means that in addition to awesome sessions presented by top-notch speakers, you will be fed, provided with free coffee and snacks throughout the event, and invited to our sweet pre-award mingle. The Conference Passes are available until the middle of May.

About the Game Educators Summit

The Summit is a micro-conference and meeting group – exclusively for university level game educators – which takes place on the 28th and 31st of May. Ergo; summit attendees start a day earlier (28/5), attend the GGC, and then do discussion and follow up a day after the GGC (31/5). The Summit-pass doubles as a full GGC ticket, and you will be provided a separate program for 28 and 31 as soon as it is nailed down!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • We are a company / university and can’t pay with cards. Can we pay with invoice?

    Invoicing is available to groups of 4 or more. Fill in that form. We will contact you to confirm the order before printing the invoice!

  • What’s included with the GAME Student and GAME Alumni passes?

    They are full conference passes, so: food during the VIP booth crawl, 2 lunches, coffee breaks with snacks, pre-award champagne mingle and a drink ticket.

  • What’s included with the Visitors Pass?

    Everything except the food stuff. A Visitors Pass will still get you into any of the talks, the show floor and (if you’re 18+) the award ceremony and party.

Any other questions? Email Ulf Benjaminsson (ulf dot benjaminsson at speldesign dot uu dot se) and we’ll update this post over time.

The theme is up!


The theme of the conference has been set – we call it M for Mature for short. Let me share a piece by Doris C. Rusch that helped inspire this choice;

“It wasn’t too long ago that a US court ruled that games were not worthy of first amendment protection. They were not understood as adequately expressive or communicative to justify it. Now, games are seen and studied as vehicles for meaning generation. They are a corner stone of our social practices and play a large role in our identity formation. Tell me what you play, and I tell you who you are. They make us think about life in ways that are just as profound as reading poetry or philosophical source texts. Games are truly coming of age […]”

“But it is not just the games themselves that are ‘growing up’ – it’s the players, too. It takes a generation for every new medium to be taken seriously. We trust games to be deep and meaningful, to have the potential of moving us profoundly, of making us think about life, the universe and everything. Attitude has a lot to do with it. It’s easy to be cynical, to claim games are just for kids. Or to be fearful and object to the medium because some of its messages and representations might be concerning.”

But like the special issue journal Rusch is writing about here, we too can have a grown up discourse about a grown up medium! The GGC 2017 will see conversations ranging from human rights and virtual worlds, to how we can broach the topics of sexuality, intimacy and, indeed, sex in video games. We want to try and problematize our reliance on “gaming literacy”, and look at designing for “non-gaming” (or “normal”) people. And, always, with an eye towards social issues, power and equality.

Thus; M for Mature.

And there will be juicy bits. 🙂

The fuse has been lit!

The website for GGC 2017 is live, which means the time and place have been set! The conference theme, speakers and tickets will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

Until then you can add the dates to your calendar – 29-30 May 2017, reserve a ferry or plane ticket to Visby, and subscribe to our feed and/or the Facebook page to be notified of any updates.

Don’t know what GAME and the GGC is all about? Here’s a sample from last year’s conference.

That’s Richard Lemarchand – the designer of Uncharted, Jak and Dexter and many other games you know and love. 🙂

Notice how his talk was not about his games, not about big brand, big budget productions. Not about consoles or technology or platforms. Instead he spoke with us about the things we really care about at the GGC: games as a cultural expression, as complex bearers of ideas, as a medium of communication. This is what we do! We strive for the Gotland Game Conference to always take a high-minded, human and loving look at games and games culture. Loving, but not uncritical! We engage our medium with honesty, integrity and a willingness to reflect, engage, do the work and improve the medium.

Here’s another clip with Richard, from the Awards Ceremony that always caps off the conference.

I hope that convinces you to join us at the end of May, to critique and celebrate the games medium, at the Gotland Game Conference 2017!

More t/k!