Game developers, especially of triple-A-productions, tend to immersive world building. Given the financial means of this industry, there is no real competition to companies like Ubisoft, From Software or CD Project Red in the public sector. In their economically successful open-world games players find themselves enveloped by intuitive interfaces, embedded in many technological features, participating in seamless fictional, spatial experiences. But are those experiences really that seamless?
With concrete game examples, play sessions and theoretical inputs we will discuss the role of embodiment in video games and shed light on the political and social dimensions of loosing yourself in Video game worlds. Ultimately, participants will be able to develop their own strategies to use the video game form as an artistic material. With techniques of counter-play the workshop aims at uncovering the web of relations a video game lays around players; and also helps to understand how the materiality of the video game comes to live.
This course is supported by Department of Research at Bauhaus-University Weimar and is part of a Fellowship for a ”Forschungswerkstatt” dedicated to finding an experimental framework for a laboratory with its own methods, rules and documentation formats. Therefore, we invite every participant to be a researcher in our team throughout the semester. The focus of the course is not about learning new software and technology, but rather about thinking together how specific software and technology might change social interaction in the present and future.
Thus, we expect self-motivated work and active participation in the course. To complete the course, it is mandatory to submit a project at the end of the semester that will contribute to our collective research. How participants will approach their final submission methodologically or which discourses are contextualized, is completely up to each person. We welcome all sorts of documentation formats, be it audio- and/or visual works in any form or purely written essays.
In the first session of the block module, we will present several case studies that participants can incorporate in their own work by the end of the semester. These case studies will also form the basis for discussion in the course. During the sessions, participants are not only exposed to different discourses, but also participate in hands-on group tasks, such as gaming sessions or testing different interfaces for interacting with digital matter.
Another goal of our mobile laboratory is to travel and visit other groups and institutions. Participants are invited to visit other events that will be announced during the semester. These events will happen between Weimar, Leipzig and possibly other places in Europe.