The annual Gotland Game Conference has been announced and will be held in Sweden on the 25th and 26th of May.
The Gotland Game Conference has been around for 10 years and is celebrating its anniversary in 2015. This year, the conference will focus on video games as a storytelling medium. “We will look at games that have tried to say something, examine what was said – and who said it, as well as examine the myriad voices that games can have – from serious, to social, to introspective – and look at how effective they can be at touching us.” the official website for the conference says.
The statement from the website is a response to a talk by Ian Bogost, the author of several books on video games and interactivity, from GDC in 2013. In his talk, Ian Bogost states that “It’s hypocritical to fight for free speech and then have nothing to say.”.
The website elaborates on this statement by saying that: “Looking out over a sea of low brow, mass market, AAA titles, or an ocean of band-wagon jumping, time waster mobile titles, it is easy to see where Bogost was coming from.”.
The essence of this year’s Gotland Game Conference is the topic of expressing yourself through interactivity. This is a field that has been explored for many years while the perfect method for blending storytelling with interactivity and gameplay still seems illusive despite years of experimentation and progress.
“We will look at Interaction, and the unique challenge it brings to an entertainment medium. For the first time, the audience is required to participate in the telling of the story. What does interactivity do to Western Narratives?”
The program for this year has yet to be announced, but the conference has previously covered a wide variety of topics ranging from creative business models to the subject of inclusiveness. “Looking through the archives, we have covered topics such as inclusiveness, creative business models and applied game design.”, the website states.
It is expected that this year’s conference will continue the tradition of variety and explore the complex field of game design and digital storytelling.
The one thing that has been revealed is that the yearly tradition of a student exhibition show is back this year.
“Before the conference starts proper, our students make formal presentations of their projects to an expert jury; exposing themselves and the university to insightful critique from a panel of industry personas.”. The student presentation have been an important part of the Gotland Game Conference since its inception, and has always acted as a crucial part of the hosting university, Uppsala University’s, education quality assurance.
The conference starts on the 25th of May and will end at the 26th. A conference pass for students costs 350 Sek while a standard pass costs 1500 Sek. The conference will take place in Visby, Sweden, and the final program is still pending.