An ontology of the reality of video games
Markus Gabriel is Germany's youngest professor for philosophy and is currently very much in demand. He fits in a guest professorship at the Sorbonne between work on his third book, the last of which was a bestseller. Like his colleague Richard David Precht, he is able to make complex contexts understandable. Even when one doesn't understand anything, one feels cleverer after a Gabriel talk. Gabriel, who is the co-founder of the school of thought of "New Realism", speaks in this talk about the characteristics of video games. What is real, the pixel or the monster we perceive? And how do omnipresent video game fantasy worlds influence our reality?
A new Interstate Broadcasting Agreement
Dual broadcasting was established at the beginning of the 1980s. At that time the important thing was to harmonise the newly arising private and the existing broadcasting systems and to create conditions that regulated access to the rare broadcasting licenses and the related frequencies. With YouTube and Twitch, it is now possible for anyone to become a broadcaster. Frequencies are no longer a rare asset. The only stupid thing is that the Interstate Broadcasting Agreement doesn't reflect this technological development and the armies of private mini-broadcasters. When the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia (LfM) classified the twitch.tv channel of the Let?s Player PietSmiet as a broadcasting offering subject to approval in March 2017, a precedent may have been set that shows how the Interstate Broadcasting Agreement has once again grown obsolete. This is because the operating of an Internet TV broadcast involves little effort or expense. The legislative text in its present form and the related conditions may make it impossible to exercise an everyman's right that promotes diversity. The participants of the panel will talk about licensing conditions, financial insecurities, even censorship, but also about the sense of and the necessity for regulation.
Cultural Complicity: How Games Can Do Better
The British YouTuber and Journalist Matt Lees is a games fan. He operates several channels. On Shut Up & Sit Down he publishes humorous board game reviews, while on Cool Ghosts he discusses games in an unconventional fashion. The Guardian newspaper published an attention-getting article in November 2016, in which links were established between parallels in personnel and content between Gamergate and the alt-right movement. In his talk at the gamescom congress, he will look at the general political climate and asks whether it is in fact games that can reunite the social classes that are drifting apart from one another.
e-sports as mass sports
e-sports don't consist only of pro players that play in front of tens of thousands of live spectators for millions. e-sports are also sports for the masses, at least the numbers show this. In Germany alone, hundreds of thousands regularly take part in the games business of the ESL. LoL teams train their middle lane tactics like football teams study the offside trap. The difference is that football has established structures and qualified trainers. If it was up to Martin Müller from the Magdeburg eSports e.V., these will also soon be found in computer game sports. But what chances are offered by structured (e)-sports for the masses? Who trains the trainers? What added value do society and classic institutions gain from structure in e-sports, and can all that contribute to helping e-sports be viewed as real sports?
Art in Our Time: Video Games at MoMA
Games are art. Some limit that to a few games, while others expand the claim to include all games. This is surely a matter of personal taste, seasoned with a pinch of polemics. The self-image of games, to be perceived as art, design objects and cultural artifacts, surely helped the Museum of Modern Art to include a selection of games in its permanent exhibition. Paul Galloway is a curator at the MoMA in New York and explains how this decision was reached, why games are contemporary art and why a work by Pablo Picasso may hang next to one by Shigeru Miyamoto with equal justification.
Making the world a better place
Computer games can make the world a better place. What a hollow phrase. Or is there some truth to it? Games are in the meantime used by the World Wildlife Fund to draw attention to endangered species. Cooperative ventures with various game manufacturers or the Californian computer giant Apple are no longer the exception. Humble Bundle in turn sells affordable computer game packages online. Sometimes the earnings are donated to a good cause, and the buyer can always see how much of his money is going to the developers.