Help us create a “Woke award”

London-based artist Karen Palmer, on jury duty at the Gotland Game Conference 2015
The Gotland Game Conference is looking over it’s award categories this year. There will be many changes, but one of higher priority than most is the addition of a… “diversity award”, for lack of a better term.

We work hard in the education and with the conference to engage thoughtfully with issues like representation, gender, intersectionality and the perspectives and lived experiences of the non-[white hetero cis male]. We need an award to highlight and celebrate student projects that exhibit an especially conscientious or nuanced understanding of these issues.

But we need help:

  1. What should we call this award?
  2. What are reasonable evaluation criterias for such an award?
  3. Who (plural) should we look to invite for play testing and evaluation of the games? (the local RFSL and Pride chapters, for sure. But who’s an expert on, say, race in Sweden?)

Specifically: the department faculty, being very much mostly white and edumacated types, do not feel at all like a reasonable authority. I mean that both in terms of appropriation and in terms of perceived validity of the award. While the fight is ours to take, it is not on us to declare any sort of victory. And in terms of validity of the award – it risks being seen as self congratulatory.

So. I am currently looking for any sort of input, really. If you don’t want to discuss publicly, feel free to grab me over e-mail!

If you would like to be part of the Gotland Game Conference jury, read these instructions and submit an application. Leave a comment in the last field if you are particularly interested or suited for the diversity-perspective.

Thank you!

//Ulf Benjaminsson

Earn a free conference pass!

Swedish Game Industry representative Anton Albiin, on the jury for GGC 2017

Swedish Game Industry representative Anton Albiin, on the jury for GGC 2017

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 (4/6) 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.

Prof. Doris Rusch, Dr. Sabine Harrer and addiction councelor Martine Pedersen - three jurors hard at work at the GGC 2017

Prof. Doris Rusch, Dr. Sabine Harrer and addiction councelor Martine Pedersen – three jurors hard at work at the GGC 2017

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!

A part of  the GGC 2016 jury in the Wild! (Gemma, Anton and Samson)

A part of the GGC 2016 jury in the Wild! (Gemma, Anton and Samson)

Hello? *tap tap* Is this thing on?

It’s January already?!

…um… Happy New Year… I guess. 🙂

We (ergo: The Department of Game Design) is currently in the middle of planning the 2018 Gotland Game Conference. We have locked in the time and place, and are working hard on firming up the theme, confirming speakers and setting up the ticket-system. Expect these to be announced in the coming weeks and months.

Until then you can add the dates to your calendar – 5-6 June 2018, reserve a ferry or plane ticket to Visby, and subscribe to our feed and/or the Facebook page, and we’ll let you know as soon as the tickets are available and the speaker list starts firming up.

Don’t know what GAME and the GGC is all about? Here’s a sample from the 2016 conference. (skip to 17 seconds)

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 on and do the work and improve the medium.

Here’s another clip with Richard, from the Awards Ceremony that always caps off the conference. (skip to 39:43)

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!

PS. if these video clip whet your appetite, here’s our Youtube channel. There you’ll find the talks from not just last year’s conference, but all of them going back to 2011. That should keep you occupied until we have more updates for you. 🙂