Photo: Steve Johnson, pexels

Softpower Games?

Discussion at the gamescom

24 Aug 2023
gamescom Halle 10.2 Booth-Nr. A070 Booth SOS-Kinderdörfer (Family&Friends Area)
Messeplatz 1
50679 Köln

The impact of video games including the technologies and cultural practices related to it (such as AI, VR / AR / "metaverse", etc.) on the way people interact worldwide are significant. Video games not only drive innovation and new technologies, but also convey political interpretive frameworks and narratives that players of all ages transfer into their own lived realities. 

Recognising games as an art form is long overdue - it is time to take their cultural and foreign policy relevance seriously. At present, however, opportunities remain untapped and risks remain unrecognised.

To what extent can games contribute to international exchange and understanding? What political topics are part of the exchange among the players? What topics are already built into game narratives by the developers? How can things that occur in the "game world" and the meanings associated with them be better understood outside the game community? What forms of "translation" into the analogue world would be necessary to be able to react more quickly to certain developments?

The panel discussion will discuss these questions and more. 

Panelist at the gamescom:

  • Lara Prölß, Project Manager Sustainable Supply Chain & Gaming, SOS-Kinderdörfer Worldwide 
  • Manouchehr Shamsrizi, ifa Research Programme Expert, Researcher in Gaming and International Relations, Co-Founder of at Humboldt University Berlin
  • Jan Wagner, Head of Digital Games, Ulisses Spiele
  • Tabea Widmann, Project Leader, Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur