The 11th International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games is a three-part event. The first part took place in November 2020 as a digital conference that included the Young Academics Workshop, several short introductions into the summit topics, and international Keynote speakers. The research conference provided a virtual space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas. Experts from the academy, science and research, economics, politics, and the game industry addressed pressing issues concerning artistic design, technological development, and economic aspects of the game industry, as well as learning opportunities through digital games.
The full summits will be presented online in July and November 2021 via Vimeo. The conference is again co-organized and co-hosted by the Cologne Game Lab (TH Köln) and the Department for Media Culture and Theater (University of Cologne).
Part II | July 7-9, 2021 | all digital
Part III | Planned for November 17-19, 2021
July 7-9 2021 | Three Summits + Keynotes
Game Development Summit | Motivation, Expectations, Innovation
Who plays which games when, what types of players are there, what is the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to play games and, above all, how can these questions, which represent only a part of the associated spectrum of topics, be incorporated into the development of digital games? This year, we’d like to approach the topic of player motivation from different perspectives and offer an overview within the framework of the conference, which, as usual, spans the arc from (artistic) practice to scientific discourse.
Game Tech Summit | AI in Natural User Interfaces
AAA companies and indie devs alike harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and novel means of user interaction to facilitate game design & development and to provide for more intricate, authentic, entertaining, immersive and fun experiences. The available tools, established approaches, methods and gadgets in development are as broad as their application. With respect to AI perspectives develop from classical search and planning algorithms as well as generative algorithms towards utilizing machine learning methods, simulation and optimization. Even self-adapting, real-time capable systems are proactively utilized in the games industry. With respect to novel approaches of user interaction, especially the integration of multiple channels of communication (multi-modal approaches), for instance considering gestures and voice at the same time, have paved the road for natural user interfaces that diminish the cognitive load of designers, developers and, particularly, the players of next gen computer and video games. At the Games Technology Summit, we discuss how the successes in these fields are impacting the games industry (industry track) and which scientific, state-of-the-art ideas and approaches are being pursued (scientific track).
Game Studies Summit | Playful Materialities
Game culture and material culture have always been closely linked. Analog forms of rule-based play (ludus) would hardly be conceivable without dice, cards, and game boards. In the act of free play (paidia), children as well as adults transform simple objects into multifaceted toys in an almost magical way. Even digital play is suffused with material culture: Games are not only mediated by technical interfaces, which we access via hardware and tangible peripherals. They are also subject to material hybridization, paratextual framing, and processes of de-, and re-materialization.
As a follow up to the Game Studies Summit at Clash of Realities Conference 2020, a volume about Playful Materialities is in the making! Check out the Call for Papers here.
The Young Academics Workshop, focusing on “Atmospheric Propositions: Creating And Thinking the Aesthetics of Playable Atmospheres”, will also take place again in July. It will not be open to the public, though, as it is the follow-up event to last year’s conference where the participants meet again to share new findings and insights on their respective topics.
Planned for November 17-19, 2021
Game Education Summit
Game Entrepreneurship Summit
New Summit Topics