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hello: Medi@terra 06: 'Gaming Realities'
Posted on Friday, September 08 @ 19:38:22 CEST by julian


In less than a month Gaming Realities, one of the biggest festivals to date encompassing the critical exploration of videogames in the fine arts and humanties, kicks off in Athens. The festival hosts a great line up of artists and speakers, many of which we've covered or archived here at Selectparks over the years (Blast Theory, Sir Frasca, Darwinia, Eastwood Group, Molleindustria and many more). I'll be there, so if you're at the festival come to my keynote and ask some impossibly difficult questions when I least expect it. Cheers!

Read on for the comprehensive press release and exhbition details.

Medi@terra festival – with the theme Gaming Realities – dedicates its 7th edition to videogames and the crucial role they play in today’s digital culture. The fields affected by videogames have multiplied, forming a platform with numerous applications in different areas of reality: Within the last years the game industry has outsold cinema production while the hardware and software production companies develop their products according to videogame’s specifications and requirements. The MMORPGs are a basic field of communication and action for many users daily and a main centre of attraction for internet café’s all over the world. At the same time, videogames are a precious tool of education for various ages as well as an important new medium of creation with multiple possibilities for artists. And while academic departments on game design and theory are being established all over the world, the sectors of sociology and psychology are more and more occupied with the new social and individual conditions arising in the ‘game era’.

Videogames encompass ideas, narratives, points of view and ideologies. They form images, they develop their own aesthetics and offer a new way of understanding the world around us. It’s no more just a successful area of entertainment – probably it never was just that. Videogames express and reflect today’s world – they are a part of it. The boundaries between the virtual and the real world seem to intertwine, as the virtual spaces become the new public spaces. New identities appear, new roles are defined, new mentalities are being born.

Medi@terra festival this year aims to explore the different dimensions and developments in the field of games and entertainment and attempts a thorough examination of the data, the trends and the new conditions arising as a result of their widespread use and deployment. The programme includes:

the Conference ‘Gaming Realities: the Challenge of Digital Culture’ where guest and participant speakers are invited to adopt a stance and express their thoughts on the crucial issues and concerns about videogames today The first day with the general theme “Gaming Situation: Game - Player – Society” the socio- political, psychological, cognitive and philosophical dimensions of game are explored. The second day focuses on “Gaming Environments” presenting the technologies and techniques that are developed in games and the third day with the theme “Game Art: the Challenge of Digital Culture” the relations between game and art are explored. For the first time in Greece a great number of important contributors [game designers, researchers, developers, journalists, writers, theorists ] will be gathered to express and explore the game realities of our times.The keynote speakers of our festival will be:

Julian Dibbell, Contributing editor, Wired magazine, Author, "My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World"

Frans Mayra, DIGRA president, Research Director, Hypermedia Laboratory, University of Tampere

Espen Aarseth, Associate Professor and Principal Researcher at the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT-University of Copenhagen, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Gamestudies

Celia Pearce, Assistant Professor, School of Literature, Communication & Culture, Georgia Institute of Technology

Kristian Lukic, Writer, artist, cultural and game researcher, Founder of Eastwood - Real Time Strategy Group

Matt Adams, member of Blast Theory

Micheal Mateas, Faculty Member at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Creator of FAÇADE

Adrian David Cheok, Director of the Mixed Reality Lab, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Associate Professor in the Schools of Computer Engineering and Art, Design, and Media

Tom Arundel, Founder, Creator of the Darwinia

Vicky Arundel, Marketing and PR Press Officer of Introversion Software, Creator of the Darwinia

Julian Oliver, Free-software developer, composer and media-theorist. Founder of www.selectparks.net

Margarete Jahrman, Professor for Media arts & Game arts at the University of Arts and Design in Zurich at the Department of the New Media Switzerland

Gonzalo Frasca, Academic and Professional Game Designer, Editor of www.ludology.org, and co-editor of www.gamestudies.org and www.watercoolergames.org, PhD programme in the Computer Game Research at the IT University of Copenhagen

Exhibition Video games & Game Based Art. This year the exhibition of the festival hosts 30 game projects by independent creators and artists from the international field that work on the new media and explore the possibilities given by the videogaming platforms. The works presented are a selection of games in different forms with their own technical and aesthetic features. Visitors will have the opportunity to see Game installations and immersing environments, political online games, geopolitical antiwar games, game mods, text adventures, game applications with an experimental and interdisciplinary characters, games by distinguished creators and emerging young artists. Featuring works by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern, Persuasive Games, Molleindustria, Nick Montofort, Sylvia Eckermann, Julian Oliver and Steven Pickles, Introversion Software, Devart, Serious Games Interactive, Mathias Fuchs, the Ludic Society and many others.

Mediaterra programme will also include

- Special video game sound events and parties

- A big retrospective to films that are inspired by or based on videogames

- A machinima anthology with some of the best recent works.

With the collaboration and support of:

Hellenic Ministry of Culture
General Secretariat of Youth
British Council
American Embassy
French Institute of Athens
Embassy of Switzerland


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