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Games between everyday life and science

The average gamer is 30 years old. It is time to tackle digital games in academia and the public sphere, says Hiloko Kato, Chair of DSI Community Gaming.

Author: Hiloko Kato 

Digital games have arrived in our everyday lives. What was long regarded as the suspect occupation of marginalised young people has now developed into a collective leisure activity that unites generations. The pandemic in particular brought the social factor of games into focus: with campaigns like #Playaparttogether, the gaming industry made big titles available for free. In this way, it supported the regulations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which called on people to stay at home. But you could still spend time with friends: playing games. The gaming industry is one of the few sectors that has been able to grow despite the pandemic, and has already surpassed the film and music industries in terms of turnover.
Even before the pandemic, Alain Berset played games with Swiss developers at Gamescom, and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially emphasised the importance of digital games as an engine of innovation and cultural asset. In a digital culture in which transmedia forms play an influential role, games are playing an increasingly prominent role: they are no longer just transmedia results like Hogwarts Legacy, The Witcher or Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. Rather, they themselves are becoming the source medium of adaptations for films and series such as Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, Arcane or The Last of Us show. Well-known pop stars like Little X Nas’ produce anthems for e-sports world championships and airlines have their planes printed with Pikachu. In addition, the Museum of Modern Art and the Literaturarchiv in Marbach have been collecting digital games since 2012 and 2019 respectively. This bridge to the arts is currently being shown in the Game Design Today exhibition at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich.

Games in Context: lectures & workshops on digital gaming culture
From March to December 2023, DSI Community Gaming, together with the Zurich Central Library and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), is organising the public event series “Games in Context”. The increasing influence of digital games on our society will be made visible and discussed.

“Games in Context” creates a better understanding of digital gaming culture. By contextualising games in various lectures and workshops, it shows how diverse the topics in digital gaming culture are and how important an understanding of games is for today’s life. Besides their global cultural power, games influence the way audiovisual and narrative content is conveyed and how we learn and work.

Further information and all dates can be found here.

You can get to know the DSI Community Gaming better here.