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Games and Politics

Studio-X Istanbul
Feb 22, 2019 - Mar 16, 2019

The exhibition Games and Politics, developed by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM) as a traveling exhibition, examines how computer games unfold their political potential in a playful way. Following San Francisco, Bucharest and São Paulo Games and Politics will now be presented in Istanbul at Studio-X in cooperation with the Bahçeşehir University Game Lab (BUG) from 22 February to 16 March 2019.

Since the 1970s, the genre of computer games has undergone rapid development. Its rudimentary forms at the outset, such as PAC-Man or Super Mario, have now been transformed into wide-ranging configurations of various worlds and regularly reflect or challenge complex social realities. Today the computer games are considered as a new artistic expression.

The exhibtion examines how computer games unfold their political potential in a playful way. Based on politically ambitious computer games of the last thirteen years, the exhibition seeks to discover the scope and limits of the genre and projects an opposing position for it within the entertainment industry.

The exhibition includes 18 computer games, 16 of which visitors can experience actively. They represent current social issues and challenges: precarious working conditions (Sunset), gender issues (Perfect Woman), consequences of armed conflict (This War of Mine), treatment of immigrants and refugees (Escape from Woomera), the security state (TouchTone) and revolutions against totalitarian systems (Yellow Umbrella).

Games and Politics is curated by Stephan Schwingeler (former curator at the ZKM and currently Professor of Game Design at the media Academy - Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences), Jeannette Neustadt-Grusche (curator Goethe-Institut) and Sophie Rau (co-curator Goethe-Institut).